This article was published on April 20th, 2015
Cervical cancer in women is caused by a wart virus called human papilloma virus (HPV). A man’s penis transmits the virus to the cervix, which the virus can sit there, dormant, for years, and may cause cancer and could kill the woman.
Gay men also have to worry about the same wart virus and cancer. While gay men do not have a cervix, a man can still pass HPV when a guys cock or even a finger comes into contact with your anus. You don’t have to have big, ugly, painful warts to have the virus or get cancer.
Most gay men do not know enough or even feel comfortable talking about anal cancer, the symptoms, the cause, or even the treatment. The Bottom Line, a new Australian website, has done a great job at covering the topic.
It’s important to know that HPV is spread for skin-to-skin contact. A guy can touch his cock and then put his finger on your ass, exposing you to the virus. Many physicians say almost 100% of HIV positive men have HPV in their anus.
HPV can lay dormant in the body for years, without any side effects or issues; however, it can still slowly, over time, cause cancer. It’s best to speak with your doctor or a nurse that specialises in STIs, to check your anus. It’s not always as easy to see the small changer in pre-cancer growths.
Men should also conduct their own self-exam, looking for small bumps and inflamed areas just inside the anal canal. You can also do this with a partner who, over time, would be aware of changes in your anus. After all, your partner can look at your anus better than you can! You only need to explore 3-4 centimeters, but you can always explore more, just for fun.
HPV is a terrible cancer to get, and you do not want to die from anal cancer. The good news is that you can get vaccinated. The vaccine has almost no side effects and new studies have shown even if you have been exposed to the virus that the vaccine may be helpful in fighting the virus.
Most people can get the vaccine covered through their health insurance. Some government assistance programs also cover the cost. There are also some gay men health clinics that offer the vaccine free of charge. If you cannot access one of these free resources, then you can try your local pharmacy where you can get it for about $450 CDN.