Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted infection that can lead to anal cancer. Previous research by this research team has shown that men who have sex with men in Ontario frequently carry HPV in the anal canal.
Men who have sex with men, particularly those with HIV, experience increased rates of anal cancer compared to the general population. Effective antiretroviral treatments have reduced the incidence of many AIDS-defining cancers, but rates of anal cancer continue to increase among HIV-positive men who have sex with men.
Men with certain types of HPV typically develop growths in the anal canal called anal dysplasia. These growths are not yet cancerous, however a proportion of them will become cancer if left unchecked.
The HPV-SAVE research study aims to gather evidence to better prevent and treat anal dysplasia and cancer.