Close to Half of American Adults Infected With Genital HPV, Study Finds

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A magnification of stained HPV viruses. Nearly half of adult Americans are infected with genital human papillomavirus, researchers have found.

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Kwangshin Kim/Science Source

More than 42 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 59 are infected with genital human papillomavirus, according to the first survey to look at the prevalence of the virus in the adult population.

The report, published on Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics, found that high-risk strains of the virus — a cause of cervical and vaginal cancers, and cancer of the penis, as well as cancers of the anus and throat in both sexes — infect 25.1 percent of men and 20.4 percent of…

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