You have nearly the same odds of flipping a coin and getting tails as you do with having sex with someone who has HPV. Pretty good betting odds.
The National Center for Health Statistics revealed alarming new data on just how prevalent HPV is among Americans. Using human papillomavirus tests from 2011 through 2014, they found that revealed that nearly half of men and 40 percent of women carry some kind of genital HPV. Overall, 42.5 percent of adults ages 18 to 59 have genital HPV. The NCHS believes that about 25 percent of men and 20 percent of women had strains that have been proven to carry a higher risk of cancer. There are more than 150 HPV viruses, but in most cases, the infection goes away without treatment.
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States with about 14 million new genital HPV infections each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 90 percent of men and 80 of women will be infected with at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives.
Low-risk HPVs, which do not cause cancer but can cause skin warts (technically known as condylomata acuminata) on or around the genitals and anus. For example, HPV types 6 and 11 cause 90% of all genital warts. HPV types 6 and 11 also cause recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, a less common disease in which benign tumors grow in the air passages leading from the nose and mouth into the lungs. High-risk HPVs, which can cause cancer. About a dozen high-risk HPV types have been identified. Two of these, HPV types 16 and 18, are responsible for most HPV-caused cancers.
Vaccinations against HPV first became available in 2006, which was given to kids before they became sexually active.
HPV is caused from skin-to-skin contact, so condoms don’t necessarily prevent the spread of the infection. Here’s how you can lower your chances of getting HPV.
But it sounds like you’re going to get HPV no matter what. So enjoy!