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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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 Post subject: Re: NEW - MEN'S FORUM
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:29 pm 
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Hi loopyk75,

Thanks for your post. HPV testing does indeed exist for men, but no test is FDA approved for clinical, "real world" use at present. Doesn't mean it can't be done, just that nothing has an official sanction or a specific indication. This is for a couple of reasons, the first being that sampling the male genital skin has historically been trickier and less accurate than with specimens taken from females. That may be less true now, as researchers have been looking at new and better ways to take genital skin samples from men. FYI the reason it's not as easy with men is because the male genitalia has thicker, more heavily keratinized skin (keratin is a structural protein found in the outer layer of skin, and a key component of hair and nails) compared with women.

The other reason is that men are less likely to experience an HPV-related disease than women, so testing for the virus has less utility in terms of helping health care providers determine who's at risk, how to manage them, etc., which is how HPV testing is used for females (remember that even with women, HPV testing isn't routinely used simply as a check of her infection status; it's part of cervical cancer screening specifically). You can see, though, why some men would want to have HPV testing done, and how it might really be useful in some cases. Just curious, what are they wanting to do with you in terms of follow-up?

Best,
Fredo



loopyk75 wrote:
I’m male, and in my 30’s. My doctor recently diagnosed me as having HPV-16 (high-risk) after seeing the lab results taken using a swab from what looked like an abnormal, slightly raised area of skin (best way to describe it - I was worried it may be a genital wart). There was no biopsy done, and only a swab specimen taken superficially. After asking, I was told that the test method used was "HPV Type-Detect 2.0 By Bio-Plex Analysis" by MDL Laboratories (http://www.mdlab.com). I called MD Lab, and they too confirmed that HPV testing can be done on men, as long as there is an abnormal area (wart, lesion, etc) to swab from. However, the following websites say that there is currently no method that exists for testing HPV in men:

1. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/fact ... isk/HPV#q7 (question # 7, last line, says "There are currently no approved tests to detect HPV infections in men.")
2. http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv-and-men.htm (The section "Is there a test for HPV in men?" section says "Currently, there is no test to find HPV in men. The only approved HPV tests on the market are not useful for screening for HPV-related cancers or genital warts in men")
3. http://www.ashastd.org/hpv/hpv_learn_men.cfm (The section "How are men screened for HPV?" says "there is no specific way to test directly for HPV in men that is approved for clinical use.")
4. http://www.thehpvtest.com/about-hpv/faq ... st-for-men (says “There is currently no FDA-approved test to detect HPV in men. That is because an effective, reliable way to collect a sample of male genital skin cells, which would allow detection of HPV, has yet to be developed.”)

MDL and my doctor confirmed it can be done (it is a DNA test), and is indeed an accurate method used to test for HPV in men (even though it might not be FDA approved) and all strains of HPV are detectable in men (high-risk, or low-risk). I'm not sure why the official health websites are saying that testing in men is not possible, but my doctor said that it could be that it is still in the process of being approved.

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 Post subject: Re: NEW - MEN'S FORUM
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:19 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Quote:
I have had HPV for years before I met my husband. I assume my husband has it too now but he's never gotten any warts or weird lesions. Is that the only way to test for it in men? Or can the DNA test be done from drawing blood? Also how much does the test cost and does any health insurance plans help cover it?


Hi Dianne,

HPV DNA tests involve taking a skin/cell sample to look directly for the genetic material of the virus. HPV blood tests, on the other hand, don't actually find the virus but can detect antibodies produced by the immune system against HPV.

HPV tests aren't approved for males outside of medical research studies, and I cover some of the reasons why above. I don't have any pricing info; check with an insurance company but not sure how well HPV tests are covered for men given the lack of an official indication for use in guys.

Most cases of HPV don't result in visible symptoms, are never diagnosed, and are resolved naturally by the immune system.

Best,
Fredo

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