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

A new Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report shows the amount of young people who have been vaccinated against HPV

During a recent two-year period, nearly 23 percent of US adults ages 18 to 59 had a type of genital human papillomavirus (HPV) that put them at high risk of certain cancers, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report published Thursday. Twenty five percent of men and 20 percent of women have the strain of HPV that causes cancer, new data shows. Some type of HPV can cause genital warts and are considered low risk with a small chance for causing cancer.

HPV is a common virus that can be largely prevented through vaccination - the uptake of HPV vaccinations is critical in reducing the rising trend of HPV-related cancers.

"More than 80 percent of Americans will be infected with HPV in their lifetime, but in most cases, it never causes symptoms or illness - and certainly not cancer in most people", Einstein explains.

"We tend to overlook the fact that 20 percent of us are carrying the virus that can cause cancer", said Geraldine McQuillan, lead author of the report and a senior infectious disease epidemiologist at the Division of Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys in the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

ONLY 75% of 15-year-old girls in Wide Bay have been fully vaccinated against the human papillomavirus, new figures show. HPV infections among women have been much more widely studied given the strong link between HPV and cervical cancer, a connection that has been known for decades.

The CDC noted that the prevalence of high-risk oral HPV was higher among men than women in all race and Hispanic groups, but the difference was not significant among non-Hispanic Asian adults. "People need to realize that this is a serious concern".

Each year, the virus causes 30,700 cancers in men and women, according to the CDC. The agency has stated that even when the vaccination rates are augmenting, the rates among boys and girls are not as high as expected.

But when we talk about cervical cancer, prevention and screening are key.

The finding "is disturbing, and really needs to be noted so parents will get their young adolescents vaccinated before they become sexually active", McQuillan told Live Science.

During 2013 to 2014, the prevalence of HPV among 18 to 59 year olds was 42.5 percent. "The way [the vaccine] was introduced in Australia and the United Kingdom was as a cancer vaccine, which is truly what it is".

A study found that the prevalence of the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) among young women had fallen by 90 per cent since an immunisation drive began in 2008 in Scotland. "Deep kissing (i.e., French kissing), rimming (i.e., oral-anal contact), autoinoculation, and peripartum exposure have also been associated with prevalent oral HPV infection, albeit inconsistently".