Human papillomavirus, or HPV, has been linked to several genital cancers. These infections are particularly troublesome in countries where poverty and HIV are also rampant. Vaccines that protect against HPV infection have proven effective but certain threats still exist.

Moreover, this type of infection has been studied extensively in women, but limited attention has been given to its effects in men. A five-year study of HPV links this disease to an increased risk for HIV in men.

The tragic fact is that in certain places, like Kenya, the leading cause of death is HIV and AIDS. A study of over 2,500 Kenyan men was conducted to see if there was a connection between an infection caused by HPV and the risk of HIV infection. 61 of the men observed in the study had acquired HIV at some point during the trial. Unfortunately, there was a link: It was found that those who had HPV were at greater risk for acquiring HIV, and this proved true whether or not the male was circumcised. This comes as sad news: Each year, HIV claims nearly 2 million lives worldwide. The information gathered in this study showed that greater attention to the prevention of these diseases still has to be made.

One glimmer of hope is inoculation. As mentioned, there is a single-dose vaccine available for HPV, and it is useful in preventing HPV-borne cancers. Extensive research still has to be done to determine if this alone is enough to prevent HIV as well. The effects of the HPV vaccine and the results of administering it to men still have to be studied. However, it is still highly recommended for women to receive the vaccine.