Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common sexually transmitted disease that infects between 20 to 40 million people in the United States. Each year the numbers of infected people increase. Research suggests that every year an additional 5.5 million people (!) become infected.
More concrete numbers show that as high as 75 percent of the sexually Americans have at one point been carriers of the virus. Of this number, only a tiny percentage of between one and five percent have noticeable symptoms.
Noticeable symptoms are warts over the genital areas of men and women, including the inner thighs and sometimes the inside of the mouth and throat. Warts can be large or small, hard or spongy, flesh-colored or white or brown. Larger warts usually mean that the symptoms have been around for a while, or that the infected person’s immune system is compromised. A person with a compromised or weakened immune system won’t be able to as effectively fight off the infection.
Fast Statistics and Facts About HPV
- Some studies suggest that an estimated 15 percent of men and women between the ages of 15 and 49 are currently infected with genital HPV.
- Women, especially young women, have the highest levels of known HPV infections.
- An average of 14 percent of American female college students get infected with genital HPV each year.
- An average of 28 to 46 percent of women under the age of 25 are infected with genital HPV.
- On average, 60 percent of HIV-negative gay or bisexual men have genital HPV.
- About 26 percent of HIV-negative women have genital HPV.
- On average, 70 percent of HIV-positive women with severely compromised immune systems test positive for genital HPV.
- There are about 30 different types of HPV that can cause a genital HPV infection.
- HPV-16 is the cause of more than 50 percent of cervical cancers in women.
- Cervical cancer is the first cancer in women known to be caused by a virus.
- If a genital HPV infection is persistent after the age of 30 in a woman, there is a greater risk that the woman will develop cervical cancer.
- The average HPV test can find up to 13 strains of the virus that can cause cancer in women.
- There is no clinical way to test for genital HPV in men unless the man already has signs of the infection. A visual inspection is usually the only way to determine the severity of the outbreak.
- The human immune system remembers a certain HPV strain which means it’s possible to become immune to a certain type of HPV. However, there are many different strains, so just because a person is immune to one strain doesn’t mean the individual will not be infected with other strains of HPV.
This page was last updated:
June 22, 2006It is not the intention of Cervicalcancer.org to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided, and Cervicalcancer.org urges you to consult with a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your personal questions.