HPV type concordance in sexual couples determines the effect of condoms on regression of flat penile lesions

M C G Bleeker, J Berkhof, C J A Hogewoning, F J Voorhorst, A J C van den Brule, T M Starink, P J F Snijders, C J L M Meijer

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We earlier demonstrated, in a randomised clinical trial, that the regression time of flat penile lesions in male sexual partners of women with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) was shorter in men who used condoms compared to those who did not. To further evaluate this finding, we examined whether the effect of condom use on the regression of flat penile lesions depends on the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV) type concordance in sexual couples, as determined in cervical and penile scrapes by GP5+/6+ PCR testing. A Cox model with time-dependent covariates showed a beneficial effect of condoms on regression of flat penile lesions in concordant couples (hazard ratio 2.63, 95% CI 1.07-6.48) but not in those who were nonconcordant. When both partners harboured different HPV types, no effect of condoms was found (hazard ratio 0.90, 95% CI 0.27-2.96). Delayed regression of flat penile lesions was associated with either stable lesions or with new penile lesions developing at sites surrounding pre-existing lesions suggesting reinfection of the penile epithelium. We conclude that condom use blocks sexual HPV transmission by preventing reinfection and development of new penile lesions in men who are susceptible to the same type as present in the female partner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1388-1392
Number of pages5
JournalBritish journal of cancer
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2005


  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia
  • Condoms
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Journal Article
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomaviridae
  • Papillomavirus Infections
  • Penile Diseases
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Sexual Partners
  • Tumor Virus Infections
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms

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