Almost half of US adults infected with genital HPV

Posted April 07, 2017

As for genital HPV, Asians had the lowest rate of infection, while black adults had the highest rate.

In this European country, HPV is responsible for 90 percent of cervical cancer cases, and now, scientists hope to reduce the number of cases regarding that type of cancer in the next years, thanks to the vaccination process.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually-transmitted disease in the USA, with approximately 80 million people now infected. While many people live with HPV without even knowing it, and in many cases it goes away on its own without causing any health problems, some forms of the virus are linked to cancer.

Nearly 23% of adults (ages 18 to 59) in the United States are affected by high-risk genital Human Papillomavirus (HPV) that can cause cancer during a two-year period from 2013 to 2014, according to the latest report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Almost 80 million people in the US are now infected with the virus, according to CDC estimates, and nearly 14 million (including teens) become infected with HPV each year. In fact, it's already having an effect, said Geraldine McQuillan, a senior epidemiologist at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

'People really need to realize that this is a serious concern'. Some type of HPV can cause genital warts and are considered low risk with a small chance for causing cancer.

"It's absolutely vital that all eligible young people receive the full course of the vaccine - taking preventive action against HPV is vital and could save a young person's life in years to come", Ms McMillan said.

The virus is thought to account for about 80% of cervical cancers. The vaccines prevent infection from high-risk HPV strains 16 and 18. As such, the CDC recommends all kids between the ages of 11 or 12 be vaccinated, though women can still be vaccinated up to age 26 and men through age 21.

During that time period, about 23% of adults had high-risk genital HPV, indicating the types of the virus that put a person at risk for cancer.

Neck and head cancer are some of the implications of HPV, and some experts say that 70 percent of all head and neck cancers are caused by HPV, most likely spread through oral sex.

The research, which was funded by the Scottish government, looked at samples from more than 20,000 women, making it one of the largest population-based studies on the impact of the vaccine. The program is newer for boys, however, and we expect this rate to increase over time.

Often, the cancer does not develop until years after a patient was infected with HPV. She says that people might think that the vaccines are encouraging children to become promiscuous at early ages, which could be stopping parents from acting. This is problematic, Paskett said.