HPV-induced anal dysplasia: what do We know and what can we do about it?

By Ciro R. Martins, M.D.
The Hopkins HIV Report, May 2001

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted agents. Current estimates are that approximately 75% of the sexually active general population ages 15 to 49 years acquires at least one genital HPV type during their lifetime.

Most individuals remain asymptomatic after acquiring the infection, and only a small percentage will develop clinically or histologically recognizable lesions. It is estimated that 1% of sexually active individuals in the United States have visible genital warts. However, genital warts are just the tip of the HPV iceberg. The prevalence of anal HPV infection is very high among men who have sex with men (MSM), reportedly as high as 93% in HIV-infected and 23% in HIV-uninfected men using PCR detection techniques.

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