Nearly half of US adults infected with genital HPV

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

And while most infections disappear on their own, without even displaying symptoms, some strains can lead to genital warts and even cancers, including prostate, throat, head and neck, rectum and cervical cancer.

From the start, clinicians have run into some parental and political roadblocks because the vaccine, which is recommended for preteens, protects against genital human papillomavirus - a virus transmitted through sexual contact.

In recent years, health experts have reported the rise of HPV-related cases of oropharyngeal cancer, or cancers that occur in the tonsils and base of tongue.

"Some HPV types can cause genital warts and are considered low risk, with a small chance for causing cancer".

To estimate the prevalence of HPV infection among USA adults aged 18 to 59, the researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2011 to 2014. It is a cancer vaccine.

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. Image credit: Sostre SN News.

"The two HPV types we were vaccinating against - HPV 16 and HPV 18 - cause about 70% to 80% of cervical cancers within Scotland but the vaccine has exceeded our expectations because it appears to have knocked out another three high-risk HPV types which cause about 10% of cervical cancers", said Dr. Kevin Pollock, senior epidemiologist at Health Protection Scotland.

While great progress has been made in creating HPV vaccines, current approaches to prevent infection have limitations. Though recent numbers have shown high HPV rates, vaccinating adolescents has been the proven way to bring these totals down.

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. The CDC recommends the HPV vaccine for young women through the age of 26, and for young men through 21. "The vaccine is targeted to very young kids because you have to catch them before they are sexually active".

The study was conducted using Gardasil 9, a version of the vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration in late 2014. "The program is newer for boys, however, and we expect this rate to increase over time", she said.

According to Dr Electra Paskett, a cancer control researcher at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, some think vaccination encourages youth to become promiscuous.

"The vaccine is a part of cancer prevention", Paskett said. The report specifically looked at adults who didn't receive recommendations to get the HPV vaccine.

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