#1: Nearly One-Quarter of US Adults Have High-Risk HPV
New research recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is showing that “more than 25% of adults in the United States have some form of high-risk, cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV).”
The virus, which can be transmitted through sexual or intimate skin-to-skin contact, has many different strains. The lowest-risk strains are responsible for causing genital warts; however, high-risk strains can lead to cancer of not only the sexual organs, but also oral and throat cancers. Perhaps more troubling is the fact that infections with these strains can be asymptomatic and individuals who do not know they are infected are able to transmit the virus to their partners.
The CDC has identified two strains of the virus, HPV 16 and 18, as being cancer-causing. Although these infections can and do typically clear within one to two years, “long-term infections can progress to cancer if left untreated.”
According to the results of the new CDC study, between 2013 and 2014, a total of 42.5% of the adult population (ages 18 to 59 years) were infected with some form of genital HPV. In addition, the “overall rate of high-risk HPV in that age group was 22.7%, with 25.1% of men and 20.4% of women having some cancer-causing genital form of the virus.” Between 2011 to 2014, oral HPV rates among adults aged 18 to 69 years of age was 7.3%, with the rate of high-risk oral HPV at 4.0%. The population with the lowest prevalence of high-risk oral and genital HPV infections was non-Hispanic Asian adults, while the population with the highest prevalence was non-Hispanic black adults.
To read more about high-risk HPV infections in the US population, click here
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