Research carried out at University Hospital Waterford could further strengthen the case for the HPV vaccine to be extended to boys.
Urology Surgeon Ivor Cullen and his team in Waterford carried out a review of all cases of penis cancer at the hospital between June 2015 and August 2018.
According to the Sunday Times they found that 59% tested positive for a protein that suggests the presence of HPV infection.
The preliminary study is the first Irish data on the link between the virus and the rare but aggressive form of cancer. Between 50 and 60 men are diagnosed with the devastating disease every year.
HPV is very common and almost all sexually active people will contract it at some point in their life, usually in one of its many harmless forms.
However, it caused, on average, 420 cancers in men and women every year between 2010 and 2014, and kills 100 women and 30 men each year, mainly through cervical cancer but also anal cancer.
Minister Simon Harris revealed that his department is aiming to roll out the HPV vaccine to boys from next year subject to a favourable recommendation from HIQA.