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Detection of human papillomavirus in urine among heterosexual men in relation to location of genital warts and circumcision status


Objective Human papillomavirus (HPV) surveillance is important to monitor the effectiveness of national HPV vaccination programmes. Positivity of HPV in urine in men varies with different sampling methods. We aimed to determine the positivity for detection of HPV-6/11 in urine samples among men in relation to the position of genital warts and circumcision status.

Method We analysed stored chlamydia-positive urine specimens in young heterosexual men aged less than 25 years attending Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Australia, between 2004 and 2015, for HPV genotypes. Positivity of HPV-6/11 and high-risk genotypes were stratified according to the position of genital warts and circumcision status. Positivity of HPV-6/11 was calculated using diagnosis of warts as the gold standard. Warts were classified as proximal penile warts from suprapubic area to midshaft of penis, and distal penile warts from distal shaft of penis to meatus.

Results Of the 934 specimens, 253 (27.1%) men were positive for any HPV and 82 men (8.8%) had genital warts. The ORs of HPV-6/11 detection in urine were 4.63 (95% CI: 1.68 to 12.78) and 40.20 (95% CI: 19.78 to 81.70) times higher among men who had proximal penile warts and distal penile warts, respectively, compared with men who did not have genital warts. Circumcised men were less likely to have high-risk HPV (OR 0.31; 95% CI: 0.14 to 0.65) than uncircumcised men. Uncircumcised men were more likely to have distal penile warts than circumcised men (OR 8.22; 95% CI: 1.34 to 337.46).

Conclusion Positivity of HPV-6/11 in urine increases greatly in men with distal penile warts. Circumcised men are less likely to have distal penile warts, any HPV or high-risk HPV detected. Urine is likely to be an alternative sampling method for HPV-6/11 surveillance programme in men in countries with low circumcision rates.

  • HPV
  • human papilloma virus
  • urine
  • men
  • genital warts
  • circumcision
  • surveillance
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