To date, there is no FDA-approved HPV test for men. The currently available HPV tests have only been studied in women and are not often used to screen men who may have HPV. However, some experts suggest that the same HPV test used to screen women for cervical cancer can be used to screen men for anal cancer. These tests are currently being recommended for men living with HIV and men who have sex with men since anal cancer is more common in these individuals.
If you believe that you may be at risk or if you have genital warts, you should speak to your health care provider. While they may not be able to test your overall HPV status, they may conduct an anal Pap test, or they could check for abnormalities on the penis, scrotum, or around the anus.
How Can Men Acquire HPV?
Men can acquire HPV by having any type of sexual activity with an individual who is already infected. The virus can be acquired during vaginal and anal sex. In addition, it can spread to the mouth during oral sex or by skin to skin contact with a person who has the infection. Most people who have HPV have no obvious symptoms and they can still transmit the virus to others.
The majority of men who acquire HPV do not develop any symptoms and the virus usually disappears. But in some, the virus may persist and may cause warts around the penis and anal area. Sometimes, the virus may cause cancer of the penis, throat, or anus.