Published: Fri, April 07, 2017
Medical | By Dorothy Lyons

Nearly half of US adults infected with genital HPV

Nearly half of US adults infected with genital HPV

New government statistics show that 25 percent of men have the strain of HPV (human papillomavirus or human wart virus) that causes cancer, NBC News reported.

Almost half of American men and women under 60 are infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV), putting them at risk for certain cancers, federal health officials reported Thursday.

Good reminder that people who fret that giving girls Gardasil will make them "promiscuous" can go kick rocks: New research says a quarter of men have the cancer-causing strain of HPV, as do 20 percent of women.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States.

Cervical cancer is the most common HPV-associated cancer among women, while cancers of the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsil, are the most common among men. "People really need to realize that this is a serious concern", said Geraldine McQuillan, lead author of the report and a senior infectious disease epidemiologist in the Division of Health and Examination Surveys at the National Center for Health Statistics of the CDC.

The Gardasil vaccination is most effective if administered before a young person becomes sexually active. Please support our efforts. The report specifically looked at adults who didn't receive recommendations to get the HPV vaccine.

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Health experts reaffirm that vaccines are the best way to prevent HPV infection.

A study published in the journal Pediatrics in February 2016 by the same group of researchers found that high-risk HPV infections in women decreased after the HPV vaccine became available in 2006. Genital HPV rates were higher among men - 45.2% - than women - 39.9%. The publication manifested that when adding all types of HPV cases, the percentage of affected adults rose to 43 percent. The CDC recommends the HPV vaccine for young women through the age of 26, and for young men through 21.

Around 99 per cent of cervical cancer diagnoses are related to infections like HPV. Unfortunately, though, HPV vaccines aren't a regular part of a child's vaccine cycle, and are often singled out. It's up to doctors to include the vaccine in the usual vaccine schedule, she said.

Of course not everybody with the cancer-causing strain will get cancer, but why spin the roulette wheel when you could just get a vaccine?

The vaccine is estimated to prevent 5,000 cancer deaths annually, said Dr. Paul Offit, professor of pediatrics and director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The response, in a word, is heartening. "It is important that we share this good news to encourage continued participation in this successful programme". Some of you have even followed through with subscriptions, which is especially gratifying. Subscriptions start as low as 25¢ per day.

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