Link Between Oral Cancer and HPV

An article in the New England of Medicine reported last week that having had 26 or more lifetime sexual partners, or six or more oral sex partners was significantly associated with oropharyngeal cancer, which is significantly associated with being infected with oral HPV type 16 (HPV-16). In addition, infrequent use of condoms and early age of first intercourse were also associated with HPV-16-positive oropharyngeal cancer.

The study was conducted at Johns Hopkins between 2000 and 2005 and included biological specimens as well as an audio, computer-assisted self-administered interview from 200 patients. The results suggest that oral sex without a condom may put teens at risk for sexually transmitted HPV-16, as well as HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Photo Credit: Phanatic

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