Preventing HPV Spread During Oral Sex

Ultima Vez Modificado: 5 de febrero del 2010

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Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

In general, condoms help to prevent the risk of HPV infection as does circumcision, but cannot prevent the spread 100%. Dental dams can be effective as well. (See reference at bottom about circumcision.)

Answer

Harry Quon, MD, MS (CRM), Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

In general, condoms help to prevent the risk of HPV infection as does circumcision, but cannot prevent the spread 100%. Dental dams can be effective as well. (See reference at bottom about circumcision.)

Carolyn Vachani, RN, MSN, AOCN, OncoLink's Nurse Educator, responds:

Yes a man can contract it through oral sex with a woman. A dental dam can help prevent this, though not 100% of the time. On a side note, non microwaveable saran wrap can substitute for a dental dam (microwaveable is too porous).

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series, How Much Do You Know About HPV?. View the entire transcript here.

N Engl J Med. 2009 Mar 26;360(13):1298-309.

Male circumcision for the prevention of HSV-2 and HPV infections and syphilis.

Tobian AA, Serwadda D, Quinn TC, Kigozi G, Gravitt PE, Laeyendecker O, Charvat B, Ssempijja V, Riedesel M, Oliver AE, Nowak RG, Moulton LH, Chen MZ, Reynolds SJ, Wawer MJ, Gray RH.

Background

Male circumcision significantly reduced the incidence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection among men in three clinical trials. We assessed the efficacy of male circumcision for the prevention of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) and human papillomavirus (HPV) infections and syphilis in HIV-negative adolescent boys and men. METHODS: We enrolled 5534 HIV-negative, uncircumcised male subjects between the ages of 15 and 49 years in two trials of male circumcision for the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Of these subjects, 3393 (61.3%) were HSV-2-seronegative at enrollment. Of the seronegative subjects, 1684 had been randomly assigned to undergo immediate circumcision (intervention group) and 1709 to undergo circumcision after 24 months (control group). At baseline and at 6, 12, and 24 months, we tested subjects for HSV-2 and HIV infection and syphilis, along with performing physical examinations and conducting interviews. In addition, we evaluated a subgroup of subjects for HPV infection at baseline and at 24 months. RESULTS: At 24 months, the cumulative probability of HSV-2 seroconversion was 7.8% in the intervention group and 10.3% in the control group (adjusted hazard ratio in the intervention group, 0.72; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.56 to 0.92; P=0.008). The prevalence of high-risk HPV genotypes was 18.0% in the intervention group and 27.9% in the control group (adjusted risk ratio, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.46 to 0.90; P=0.009). However, no significant difference between the two study groups was observed in the incidence of syphilis (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.10; 95% CI, 0.75 to 1.65; P=0.44). CONCLUSIONS: In addition to decreasing the incidence of HIV infection, male circumcision significantly reduced the incidence of HSV-2 infection and the prevalence of HPV infection, findings that underscore the potential public health benefits of the procedure. (ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT00425984 and NCT00124878.) 2009 Massachusetts Medical Society

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