Information on HPV in men and women
Human papillomavirus (HPV) can affect anyone. About 80% men and women who have had sex have been infected by the virus at some point in their life.
So, although the government HPV vaccination programme in the UK is only open to young women and men who have sex with men, most doctors would agree that all males could benefit from vaccination too.
HPV can cause warts on the inside or outside of the penis, female genitals or anus.
It can also cause pre-cancerous conditions of the penis, female genital area, anus, mouth or throat. These are changes that might lead to cancer in the future if left untreated.
There are over 100 different types of human papillomavirus. Gardasil 9 is the name of the HPV vaccine that protects against the most types.
How effective is the HPV vaccine for men and women?
If you have never had sex, Gardasil 9 can prevent up to 90% of genital warts and 89% of cancers of the anus, vulva, vagina, or cervix. There is also some evidence that it can help prevent some cancers of the penis, mouth and throat, particularly so if you engage in oral sex.
If you are between cervical smear tests or already sexually active, you can also help to protect yourself by getting vaccinated with Gardisil 9. This can still reduce your chances of getting any of these conditions as it may provide cover against an HPV strain you have still not been exposed to yet.