Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of viruses comprising over 100 different strains.3 Among these, 40 HPV strains infect genital areas, with some strains carrying a larger risk than others.3
Low-risk HPVs typically cause no symptoms.4 About 90% of genital warts are caused by non-cancerous HPV types 6 and 11.3,4 Other HPV strains cause warts on the skin of different body areas.4
High-risk HPV strains are associated with cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancer in women, and an increased risk of HPV-related cancers in men.3 Among these, HPV types 16 and 18 are responsible for most HPV-related cancers.3
HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STI). Approximately 80% of men and women will be infected with HPV at some point in their lifetime.9 Although HPV typically poses fewer health risks in men than in women, preventing HPV in men will reduce their risk of transmitting HPV to their partners.13
In Singapore, the prevalence of HPV is highest in women aged 20–24, with one-fifth presenting with high-risk HPVs (HPV- 51, 16, 52, 58, 66).11 In 2020, an estimated 309 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer, mostly among those aged 15-45, while 172 succumbed to the disease.12 In comparison, new cases of anal cancers in men were low, accounting for a total of 38 cases.12
Men can play a vital role in combatting HPV. Take steps to lower your risk of contracting HPV and HPV-related diseases.