STUDY: Gay Men Are 15 Times More Likely To Develop HPV-Related Cancers

pill-bottles1Bad news, everyone. Just weeks after a team of scientistic researchers in Indiana told everyone about your small penis, a different team of scientists in the UK is suggesting that your gay penis is 15 times more likely to suffer from genital cancers than other heterosexual penises.

The discovery was made by a team of scientists from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Homerton University Hospital, and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. According to their findings, “men who have sex with men are disproportionately affected by HPV-related cancer, particularly anal cancer, where rates are over 15 times higher than in heterosexual men.”

Part of the reason for the disproportionate statistic, according to researchers, is due to the fact that HPV vaccinations are typically only administered to women on a routine basis. They point to a previous study from Australia that noted “a dramatic decline” in total HPV infections after administering vaccinations to women, which in turn decreased transmission rates for the straight men they were having sex with.

But what about gay men?

“There is now ample data testifying the increased burden of HPV-related conditions and cancer in MSM (men who have sex with men),” say researchers, who plan to use this new data to push “cost effective” methods for HPV vaccinations for 16-26 year-old gay men.

They also note that young gay men already infected with HPV are in the minority, so swift efforts to vaccinate could lead to a dramatic drop in infection rates. Until then, it’s best to know your own status, since HPV is one of many STIs that can still be transmitted even if you’re wearing protection.

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  • Brian

    I wonder if this is one of those studies that is financed by the drugs firms that produce the HPV vaccine. Just be aware of this possibility. Drugs firms love vaccines because it brings them lots of money.

    By the way, there are lots of same-sex attracted men who choose to avoid anal.

  • tardis

    @Brian: You don’t have to have anal to get HPV. Simply touching each other’s genitals and then touching yourself promotes infection. Sad this is that there aren’t efficient testing services in regard to HPV. Although what you propose isn’t out the the question, the truth is that there are certain realties when it comes to gay sex. Now, how do we deal with this as a community?

  • Brian


    Don’t heterosexuals touch each other on the genitals too? Honestly, I think you’re propping up this phony argument that men who are attracted to men are somewhat special and unique in their sex acts.

    HPV and STD’s in general are NOT caused by sex acts or sexual orientation. They are caused by promiscuity and environment. Men who are attracted to men tend to be promiscuous within environments that concentrate that promiscuity. If the incidence of STD’s is higher amongst men who are attracted to men, it’s due to the fact that they choose to socialize within zones of concentrated promiscuity.

  • elSac08

    @Brian: However, men who have receptive anal sex have a greater risk of developing HPV-related cancers; they, therefore, should be encouraged to have the HPV vaccine. Simple – it makes sense!

  • Brian


    Women have receptive anal sex too. Nothing special about it.

  • Dez

    This is misleading. It’s not about men having sex with men, it’s about men having sex with ALOT of men. Don’t be a whore and don’t get and STD- pretty simple. And if you are going to be a whore, wear protection and get the shot. Unfortunately, the sexual education system SUCKS and doesn’t properly address the truly important issues, so it’s like the blind leading the blind. We are still so ignorant as a society about sex.

  • brief12H

    Also, 15 times more likely, like all statistics can be misleading. Bang Goes the Theory had a very informative segment about eating processed meats in the morning. Five people out of hundred will develop cancer anyway, one more person, a sixth person is more likely to develop cancer because they ate processed meats… saying 20% more likely doesn’t mean a fourth of the people will develop cancer…

  • Brian


    Excellent point about the misleading nature of statistics.

  • Mical


    Listen all your positioning (no pun intended) won’t matter much if you end up like my straight brother-in-law who is now penis-less from HPV cancer. Think about it.

  • tardis

    @Brian: No, gay sex is not special nor unique, but it is different from heterosexual sex in that the vagina is a sexual organ unlike the anus. That’s not to say heterosexuals don’t engage in anal sex and that’s not to say all gay men engage in anal sex, but generally speaking, this is most certainly the case. The issue isn’t really about promiscuity, but how people are having sex and how that translates from partner to partner. Look, man, with the rise in STDs and HPV, there are certain concerns in the gay community that one contemplates. Yes, I know that we can frame it within a “but straights do it too” context, only that we’re not talking about heterosexuals, we’re talking about gay and bi men, not straight women or lesbians. We all have sex, yes, but within each sexual orientation, how it works is different, not unique, but different.

  • Brian


    Your argument is flawed. It is based on identity politics. Again, STD’s are not predicated on identity. Using words like gay and straight in the context of identity politics is not something that a virus or bacterium cares about. Illnesses of tthe sexual kind are rooted in promiscuity and environment, not whether you call yourself gay or straight.

  • tardis

    @Brian: I’m not arguing anything, Brian. As for identity politics, who said anything about identity politics? This news article is talking about how HPV affects gay/bi men and for the sole purpose of discussion, we’re discussing gay/bi men. Of course, STD’s aren’t predicated towards a specific orientation, but the fact is that some of these STD’s are an issue within the community. That’s all I’m saying. I’m not arguing or trying to make a scientific assessment but a mere reflection on how I see this. It only takes one person to infect you. You don’t have to be recklessly promiscuous to catch something. That’s all I’m saying.

  • seektruth

    I wish people would do their own research on the dangers and flaws on vaccines. Accepting the fact that “sure, some will have adverse reactions and/or die from the vaccine” shouldn’t be socially or medically acceptable.

    Here is a link that may help the start of your research (and your decision), but I’m probably just going to receive hate. Yay hate! Shared by gay people and straight people alike!

  • Chris

    I’ve got a theory, do you guys think that the majority of gay men who are on the receiving end of anal, douche and if so do you think the majority use regular tap water? I’ve often thought about this… It’s been proven that Fluoride is a very strong carcinogen and it is in the majority of tap water (which is a debatable act itself).

    Perhaps there is a correlation between douching and anal/rectal cancer which could also be increasing the number of incidents. Fluoride is pretty dangerous and perhaps especially for the very sensitive tissue down there- this could be a problem. Just a thought, I’m not sure if any research has been done to verify this. A quick google of “dangers of water fluoridation” can show some of the risks I am talking about and there is definitely a reason more cities are banning it.

    I’m sure women douche too but this study is comparing gay men to hetero men… isn’t it? I doubt many hetero men douche. Just my 2c.

  • hkq999

    @tardis: how would just touching genitals promote infection?

  • tardis

    @hkq999: HPV can be transmitted through skin to skin contact. If your partner has HPV on his genitals and you touch him and then touch yourself, the virus transmits itself in that manner. Keep in mind, though, 90% of strains self destruct. You just need to be careful.

  • edfu

    These statistics are not new and have been known for some time. The shocking scandal is that medical authorities and gay organizations have done very little to make them public. HPV is the most common STI amongst ALL sexually active persons, gay and straight; it’s what causes cervical cancer and the ever-rising increase in throat and mouth cancers.

    What’s worse is the statistic that amongst HIV-positive gay men, the rate of anal cancer is 100 times higher than among HIV-negative gay men.

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