More Than 1 In 5 Adults Has Cancer-Causing HPV, CDC Reports

There is no treatment for the virus itself - some types of cases resolve on their own after a few years - but there are treatments for health issues that HPV can cause, including genital warts and cervical cancer. The study noted that some high-risk strains of HPV infected 25.1% of men and 20.4% of women.

But the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which can prevent roughly 90 percent of all cervical cancers as well as other cancers and sexually transmitted infections caused by the virus, has faced an uphill climb since its introduction more than a decade ago.

"Some HPV types can cause genital warts and are considered low risk, with a small chance for causing cancer".

In addition, the new version of Gardasil improved protection against HPV-related cancers in the vagina, vulva, penis, anus, rectum and oropharynx - the tongue and tonsil area at the back of the throat. Researchers said the new data highlights the importance of having adolescents vaccinated against HPV.

They found just 0.5% of women from the 1995 group tested positive for the virus, compared with 21.4% of women born before 1990. Although 90 percent of HPV infections clear the body within two years, that's not always the case.

About 45 per cent of Americans ages 18 to 59 had some form of genital human papillomavirus, according to a report released Thursday that's the most complete look at how common HPV is among adults. As the Washington Post notes, the prevalence of HPV was higher in men than women in both groups, in addition to being far higher among blacks than other ethnic and racial groups. They were followed by Hispanic adults, who had a 41.4 percent rate of infection; white adults, who had a 40.0 percent rate of infection; and Asian adults, who had a 23.8 percent rate of infection. In fact, the CDC notes that "nearly all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives". "If effective, this approach can be a cheap, women-controlled way that can empower women to protect themselves from HPV and cervical cancer", says Einstein. In teenage girls, HPV infection has dropped 60%, and in young women it has dropped 34%, she added.

The CDC recommends that all children ages 11 or 12 should get two shots of HPV vaccine six to 12 months apart and that children older than 14 should receive three shots of the HPV vaccine over the course of six months.

Oral cancer caused by HPV has subtle symptoms.

"HPV is associated with these cancers", said Schaffner. Dr. Ramondetta is a professor of gynecologic oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

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