The aim of this study was to investigate the epidemiological profile of HPV oropharyngeal infections in HIV-infected men who have sex with men. A total of 135 subjects were enrolled at the L. Sacco University Hospital (Milan, Italy) to evaluate their HPV oropharyngeal infection status at baseline and at a follow-up visit at least 12 months later. HPV DNA was detected from oropharyngeal swabs using an in-house nested PCR that amplifies a segment of the L1 gene. The PCR products were then sequenced and genotyped. A greater percentage of high-risk genotypes was identified compared to low-risk genotypes (13·7% vs. 6·9%, P < 0·05), and two uncommon alpha-HPV genotypes were detected, i.e. HPV-102 and HPV-114. HPV infection prevalence was 24·4% and the cumulative incidence was 24·1%. During the follow-up period, one case of HPV infection (HPV-33) persisted, while the overall rate of infection clearance was 58·3%. HPV oropharyngeal infection was widespread in the cohort examined, and most of the infections were transient and cleared within 12 months. These results may help to clarify the role of HPV in the oropharynx and may also improve our understanding of the need to implement preventive strategies in at-risk populations.