2002 National STD Conference - Association Between MSM Behavior and the Seroprevalence of HPV-16 and HSV-2

Abstract 354: Association Between MSM Behavior and the Seroprevalence of HPV-16 and HSV-2

F Xu1, MR Sternberg1, K Karem2, E Unger2, KM Stone1, LE Markowitz1

Background: Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at high risk for STDs and HIV infection. The seroprevalence of HSV-2 is high in MSM, but little is known about the epidemiology of HPV in men.

Objectives: To describe the seroprevalence of HSV-2 and HPV type 16 (HPV-16) infections in men who did and did not have sex with men.

Methods: Data were collected during a national representative survey (NHANES III) from 1988 to 1994. Interview data and antibody results for HSV-2 and HPV-16 were available for persons 17 to 59 years of age. Antibodies to HSV-2 were tested using a type-specific immunodot assay. HPV specific IgG was detected using an HPV-16 virus-like particle ELISA. MSM was defined as men who reported ever having a male sexual partner. All estimates were weighted to represent non-institutionalized US population.

Results: Eighty-three men (1.8%) reported having had sex with a man. Compared with other males, MSM were more likely to have ≥ 2 partners in the past year (40% vs 20%, p < 0.05), and to have ≥ 10 lifetime partners (65% vs 43%, p < 0.05). The seroprevalence of HPV-16 among MSM was 38%, almost 5 times of that in other men (8%) and 2 times of that in women (19%). The seroprevalence of HSV-2 was also higher in MSM than in other men (31% vs 18%), although the difference was not statistically significant. The lifetime number of sexual partners was a predictor for HPV-16 and HSV-2 infections in men. After adjusting for the number of sexual partners, race/ethnicity, and age, MSM behavior was a risk factor for HPV-16 infection (p < .001) but not for HSV-2 infection in men (p = .2)

Conclusions: MSM are at higher risk for HPV-16 and probably for HSV-2 infections. The transmission and epidemiology of HPV-16 in MSM may be different from that of HSV-2.

Implications for Program/Policy: The high seroprevalence of HSV-2 in MSM indicates the need for improved intervention for this population.

Implications for Research: The clinical implications of HPV-16 seropositivity in men are not known. Further studies on HPV are needed to understand the transmission and clinical complications of HPV infection in MSM.

1Division of STD Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA;

2Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA