Oral human papillomavirus infection in men who have sex with men: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Eleanor M. King, Soonita Oomeer, Richard Gilson, Andrew Copas, Simon Beddows, Katherine Soldan, Mark Jit, W. John Edmunds, Pam Sonnenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The epidemiology of oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in men who have sex with men (MSM) differs from anogenital HPV infection. The impact of HPV vaccination has, to date, largely focussed on anogenital outcomes. Vaccination of MSM in the UK has been recommended and, if implemented, baseline estimates of oral HPV prevalence will be useful. Methods: We searched Medline, Embase and psycINFO databases for studies reporting prevalence, incidence, and clearance of oral HPV infection in MSM. We performed a random-effects meta-analysis and meta-regression on prevalence estimates and summarised within-study risk factors for oral HPV DNA detection and incidence/clearance rates. We also performed a meta-analysis of the effect of MSM on oral HPV prevalence compared to heterosexual men. Results: 26 publications were identified. The pooled prevalence of oral HPV16 from twelve estimates was 3.0% (95%CI 0.5-5.5) in HIV-negative and 4.7% (95%CI 2.1-7.3) in HIV-positive MSM. Median age of study participants explained 38% of heterogeneity (p<0.01) in HPV prevalence estimates (pooled = 17% and 29% in HIV-negative and HIV-positive, respectively; 22 estimates). Nine studies compared MSM to heterosexual men and found no difference in oral HPV prevalence (pooled OR 1.07 (95%CI 0.65-1.74)). The clearance rate was higher than incidence within studies. Type-specific concordance between oral and anogenital sites was rare. Conclusion: There was substantial heterogeneity between estimates of oral HPV prevalence in MSM populations that was partly explained by HIV status and median age.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0157976
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Eleanor King was funded on an MRC studentship. John Edmund's partner works for GSK and the authors confirm that this this does not alter the authors' adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 King et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Dive into the research topics of 'Oral human papillomavirus infection in men who have sex with men: A systematic review and meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this