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HPV Facts


> More than 6 million people a year become infected with HPV in the United States. The CDC estimates that there are currently 20 million Americans who are infected with HPV.

> In 2006, an HPV vaccine was approved by the FDA that keeps women who have never had HPV from getting four types of HPV. More vaccines are being researched to eliminate more types.

> HPV stands for Human papillomavirus and is known as a group of viruses that includes more than 100 different strains or types. More than 30 of these viruses are sexually transmitted, and they can infect the genital area of men and women including the skin of the penis, vulva (area outside the vagina), or anus, and the linings of the vagina, cervix, or rectum. Most people who become infected with HPV will not have any symptoms and will clear the infection on their own.

> An estimated 15 percent of Americans ages 15 to 49 are currently infected with HPV.

> Studies repeatedly show high levels of HPV infection in women, with the highest levels among young women.

> A U.S. study among female college students found that an average of 14 percent became infected with genital HPV each year. About 43 percent of the women in the study were infected with HPV during the three-year study period.

> There are about 40 types of genital HPV. In most cases, HPV goes away on its own, without causing any health problems. It is thought that the immune system fights off HPV infection naturally.

> Having HPV is not the same thing as having HIV or herpes.

> HPV may be an even greater problem for HIV-positive men and women. HIV-positive individuals have a higher prevalence of HPV infection and precancerous lesions on the cervix and anus than HIV-negative individuals. Co-infection with HIV and HPV is most likely due to shared risk behaviors for both diseases, as well as an increased susceptibility to HPV because of a compromised immune system.

> A San Francisco study of gay and bisexual men found that 60 percent of HIV-negative men had HPV, with almost universal HPV infection among HIV-positive individuals with severely compromised immune systems.

> Similarly, a six-city study among high risk and HIV-infected women found that 26 per-cent of HIV-negative women were infected with HPV, but 70 percent of HIV-positive women with severely comprised immune systems were infected with HPV (Palefsky, 1998).

Genital Warts

Research indicates that approximately one per-cent of sexually active adults in the United States have genital warts. These estimates are based on select studies demonstrating levels of infection ranging from 1.5 percent among female college students treated in student health centers to 13 percent in some std clinics (Koutsky, 1997).

< HPV (and Genital Warts) | More HPV Info >

If you think you may have a sexually transmitted disease, you should see a physician immediately to be properly diagnosed and treated. You should not try to diagnose or treat symptoms on your own.

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