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Anal HPV infection

HPV infection of anus and perianal skin is common, even without anal intercourse. The incidence of anal HPV infection in straight men is 12-24% and in women 27-50%. HPV is detected in 60% of gay and in 90% of HIV+, even without anal intercourse.

The perianal area can be infected with direct intercourse, vaginal discharges, washing, fingers and sexual toys. Viral infection in lesbians is not unusual. Only skin cells in a 5-6 cm from anal verge are infected. The epithelium (lining)  of intestine which is located deeper is not infected by HPV virus. The virus is usually cleared from anus after 1-3 years of infection. Multiple partners, absence of condom prophylaxis, douching, smoking, anal intercourse and corticosteroid creams are adverse factors that obstruct viral clearance. Condoms are not a completely safe method of prophylaxis.

HPV infection is usually asymptomatic. There are about 40 HPV subtypes that infect anogenital area. These subtypes can infect mouth and tonsils. The benign subtypes make papilloma-like warts. Other subtypes are the cause of intraanal neoplasia that can progress to anal cancer.  These dysplastic lesions can be detected with anal cytology and subsequent high resolution anoscopy.



HPV virus