A Mere 1 In Every Ten Men Know About HPV

By Rudolf Michaels

Only One In Every 10 Men Are Aware Of HPV

A new Danish survey with just about 20,000 Danish men, proves that only one in every 10 men aged' to 45 years, have knowledge of HPV - the virus which for men can cause penile and anal cancer and cervical cancer for women. Results proposes, that men walks around thinking that the HPV virus does not affect them. But men actually do have a great responsibility.

-They do, because HPV is a virus, mainly spread sexually. It is consequently really vital that men are aware, that they are carriers in relation to women and cervical cancer and that they can develop for example, penile cancer, anal cancer and certain forms of cancer of the head and neck region, "says researcher Ann Nielsen from the Danish Cancer Fighting, who is the major author of the survey.

The study illustrates that few men are informed about about HPV, and this is regardless of whether they are' or 45 years.

-For women, research prove that older women are more aware of HPV rather than younger women. Yet this does not apply to men, says Ann Nielsen.

While there has been further understanding of HPV and vaccines, Ann Nielsen does not feel that it has reached the men yet.

-When we interviewed the men, there were an incipient attentiveness of HPV. The first vaccine against cervical cancer was - at the time - just entering the Danish market, explains Ann Nielsen.

HPV is mostly sexually transmitted. At present all girls born in Denmark in'96 or later are offered a free HPV vaccination as part of the general vaccination program. Additionally, all girls born in'93,'94 and'95 received the offer of free vaccination. So far Danish boys will not be offered free vaccination.

Ann Nielsen points out that there really is a vast need for information efforts towards men. - Not simply related to sexual life. We also have to do with a target audience - fathers with children who are offered vaccination. It is very essential that their understanding is good, when they should consider whether their daughter should be vaccinated, says Ann Nielsen.

Need for knowledge American studies have also shown, that an increased focus on HPV means an increased knowledge. In the U.S., the number of anal cancer and head and neck cancer incidents has grown.

-We estimate that the same applies in Denmark. And we must not lose sight of the genital warts - something that many men and women suffer from. We estimate that around 10 percent of all men, at some time in their lives, become infected with genital warts.

Therefore, it is simply needed to have knowledge and awareness out to the audience, says Ann Nielsen.

The study is published in European Journal of Cancer Prevention. - 30540

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