Incidence and Clearance of Penile High-Risk Human Papillomavirus Infection and Their Determinants Among HIV-Negative Men Who Have Sex With Men

Hema J Nadar, Ward P H van Bilsen, Elske Marra, Sylvia Bruisten, Daniëlle A M Heideman, Maarten F Schim van der Loeff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at increased risk of anogenital human papillomavirus (HPV) infections. We aimed to assess the incidence and clearance of penile high-risk HPV (hrHPV) infections and their determinants among HIV-negative MSM living in the Netherlands. METHODS: Between 2010 and 2015, HIV-negative MSM were semiannually tested for penile HPV and completed detailed questionnaires on health and sexual behavior. Self-collected penile swabs were tested for HPV DNA using SPF10-PCR DEIA/LiPA25 system. Type-specific hrHPV incidence (IR) and clearance rates (CR) were calculated for 12 hrHPV types (HPV-16, HPV-18, HPV-31, HPV-33, HPV-35, HPV-39, HPV-45, HPV-51, HPV-52, HPV-56, HPV-58, and HPV-59). Determinants of incidence and clearance of HPV-16 and HPV-18, separately, and combined 7 hrHPV types covered by the nonavalent vaccine were assessed by Poisson regression using generalized estimating equations for combined hrHPV types. RESULTS: We included 638 HIV-negative MSM, with a median age of 38 (interquartile range, 33-43) years. HPV-16 had an IR of 4.9/1000 person-months of observation at risk (PMO; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 3.8-6.3) and CR of 90.6/1000 PMO (95% CI, 60.7-135.1). The IR and CR of HPV-18 were 3.4/1000 PMO (95% CI, 2.5-4.5) and 119.2/1000 PMO (95% CI, 76.9-184.8), respectively. Age and condom use during insertive anal sex were not associated with hrHPV incidence, whereas high number of recent sex partners was. CONCLUSIONS: The relatively high IR and low CR of penile HPV-16 and HPV-18 among HIV-negative MSM correlates with their high prevalence and oncogenic potential. Incident HPV infections were associated with recent sexual risk behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)864-872
Number of pages9
JournalSexually Transmitted Diseases
Issue number11
Early online date1 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021

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