A new study has concluded that “Men who consume more alcohol have a greater risk of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection”. HPV is the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted virus. There are many types of HPV, which are responsible for most cases of cervical cancer, other cancers in both men and women, and genital warts.

HPV can also cause changes in a women’s cervix and is the single biggest cause of cervical cancer in women. In addition to cervical cancer, HPV can also cause vulval, anal and other types of cancer. Many types of HPV exist, but only some of them can cause genital warts or cancer. Although there is a lot of information on the biological mechanisms of the HPV infection in women, it seems to be limited with men.

There is some evidence that suggests alcohol consumption can impair the immune systems initial protective inflammatory response to the infection and the development of immunity against some bacterial and viral infections.

The Moffitt Cancer Centre Research Institute, analysed over 1,300 men, for the presence of HPV. DNA samples were taken at the start, during, and at the end of the study, and the participants answered detailed surveys about alcohol consumption, smoking and sexual activity.

The results of the study showed that the men who consumed more alcohol had a significantly higher risk of HPV infection.

There has always been a connection between alcohol consumption and sexual activity, and this study has found another. Having a regular smear test does not mean you will be tested for the HPV infection even though it is associated with cervical cancer. The virus can however be detected by having a Pap smear, and if identified, patients can be closely monitored for any pre-cancerous conditions.

HPV is found in both men and women. Women can be tested with a vaginal or cervical swab at any time, it is recommended that this is done at the same time as a smear test.  Men should have a wart or blemish to swab. These tests can be arranged with Better2Know today, call our friendly booking team to book your appointment.

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