Human papillomavirus (HPV): Almost Half of U.S. Adults Have It

Human papillomavirus and how almost half the population has it

Human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus responsible for causing genital warts and cervical cancer, is the most commonly sexually transmitted infection in the U.S.

In the latest data, collected from the National Center for Health Statistics, researchers found that the infection prevalence of genital HPV from 2013-2014 was 42.5% among adults between ages 18 and 59. Asian adults had the lowest rates of infection, while African-Americans had the highest. Overall, men had higher rates of both oral and genital HPV(Human papillomavirus) than women.

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

Scientists have found in previous reports that HPV(Human papillomavirus) vaccination helps lower infection rates. In 2006, government health officials began recommending vaccination against HPV for teen girls; in 2009, it included boys in that recommendation. Infection rates dropped among teens by 64% in the six years after the shot was recommended.

While there are 40 types of HPV, the vaccines, which contain four of the most common strains, are generally effective at stopping infection.

Still, rates of HPV (Human papillomavirus) vaccination remain low. Only 30-40% of teens who should be getting immunized receive the three-dose shot, and only 10% of men do.

What is it exactly?

Human papillomavirus infection is an infection by human papillomavirus (HPV).[1] Most HPV infections cause no symptoms and resolve spontaneously.[2] In some, they persist and result in warts or precancerous lesions.[3]The precancerous lesions increase the risk of cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, anus, mouth, or throat.[2][3] Nearly all cervical cancer is due to HPV with two types, HPV16 and HPV18, accounting for 70% of cases.[2][4] Between 60 and 90% of the other cancers are also linked to HPV.[4] HPV6 and HPV11 are common causes of genital warts and respiratory papillomatosis.[2]

HPV infection is caused by a human papillomavirus, a DNA virus from the papillomavirus family, of which over 150 types are known.[1][5] More than 40 types are transmitted through sexual contact and infect the anus and genitals.[5] Risk factors for persistent HPV infections include early age of first sexual intercourse, multiple partners, smoking, and poor immune function.[2] HPV is typically spread by sustained direct skin-to-skin contact with vaginal and anal sex being the most common methods.[5] Occasionally, it can spread from a mother to her baby during pregnancy. It does not spread via common items like toilet seats. People can become infected with more than one type of HPV.[6] HPV only affects humans.[1]

HPV vaccines can prevent the most common types of infection.[5] To be effective, they must be used before an infection occurs and are therefore recommended between the ages of nine and 13. Cervical cancer screening, such as with the Papanicolaou test (pap) or looking at the cervix after using acetic acid, can detect early cancer or abnormal cells that may develop into cancer. This allows for early treatment which results in better outcomes.[2] Screening has reduced both the number and deaths from cervical cancer in the developed world.[7]Warts can be removed by freezing.[1]

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection globally.[1] Most people are infected at some point in their lives.[5] In 2012, about 528,000 new cases and 266,000 deaths occurred from cervical cancer worldwide.[8]Around 85% of these occurred in the developing world.[2] In the United States, about 27,000 cases of cancer due to HPV occur each year. About 1% of sexually active adults have genital warts.[6] While cases of warts have been described since the time of ancient Greece, their viral nature was discovered in 1907.[9]

 

 

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Apr 05, 2017

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