HPV stands for human papillomavirus. It’s the most common sexually transmitted infection. HPV is usually harmless and goes away by itself, but some types can lead to cancer or genital warts.
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- The most common STD.
- How do you get HPV?
- Basic Information about HPV and Cancer
- High-Risk and Low-Risk HPV Types
- How a High-Risk HPV Infection Can Lead to Cancer
- Lower the voting age to 16 for federal elections?: Today’s talker
- Teens should have a voice on federal elections
- What others are saying
- What readers are saying
- What Are HPV 16 and 18?
- HPV Is Common, Yet Commonly Misunderstood
- How Will I Know if I Have HPV?
- What if I Test Positive for HPV 16 or 18?
- What About Screening for Anal HPV?
- Rise in HPV 16–Related Throat Cancer
- Does the HPV Vaccine Protect Against Types 16 and 18?
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Strains 16 and 18
- HPV Strains
- Strains of Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Want to get tested for HPV?
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The most common STD.
There are more than 200 types of human papillomavirus (HPV). About 40 kinds can infect your genital area — your vulva, vagina, cervix, rectum, anus, penis, and scrotum — as well as your mouth and throat. These kinds of HPV are spread during sexual contact. (Other types of HPV cause common warts like hand warts and plantar warts on the feet — but these aren’t sexually transmitted.)
Genital HPV infections are very, very common. In fact, most people who have sex get the HPV at some point in their lives. Most people with HPV have no symptoms and feel totally fine, so they usually don’t even know they’re infected.
Most genital HPV infections aren’t harmful at all and go away on their own. But some kinds of HPV can lead to genital warts or certain types of cancer.
Two types of HPV (types 6 and 11) cause most cases of genital warts. Warts are no fun, but they’re considered low-risk HPV because they don’t lead to cancer or other serious health problems.
At least a dozen types of HPV can sometimes lead to cancer, though two in particular (types 16 and 18) lead to the majority of cancer cases. These are called high-risk HPV. Cervical cancer is most commonly linked to HPV, but HPV can also cause cancer in your vulva, vagina, penis, anus, mouth, and throat.
There’s no cure for HPV. But there’s a lot you can do to keep HPV from having a negative impact on your health. There are vaccines that can help protect you from ever getting certain types of HPV. Genital warts can be removed by your nurse or doctor. High-risk HPV can usually be easily treated before it turns into cancer, which is why regular Pap/HPV tests are so important. While condoms and dental dams don’t offer perfect protection, they can help lower your chances of getting HPV.
How do you get HPV?
HPV is easily spread from sexual skin-to-skin contact with someone who has it. You get it when your vulva, vagina, cervix, penis, or anus touches someone else’s genitals or mouth and throat — usually during sex. HPV can be spread even if no one cums, and even if a penis doesn’t go inside the vagina/anus/mouth.
HPV is the most common STD, but most of the time it isn’t a big deal. It usually goes away on its own, and most people don’t even know that they ever had HPV. Remember that most people who have sex get HPV at some point in their lives. You don’t need to be ashamed or afraid.
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Basic Information about HPV and Cancer
Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. Cancer is always named for the part of the body where it starts, even if it spreads to other body parts later.
Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. More than 40 HPV types can infect the genital areas of men and women, including the skin of the penis, vulva (area outside the vagina), and anus, and the linings of the vagina, cervix, and rectum. These types can also infect the lining of the mouth and throat.
High-Risk and Low-Risk HPV Types
HPV types are often referred to as “low-risk” (wart-causing) or “high-risk” (cancer-causing), based on whether they put a person at risk for cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancerexternal icon found that 13 HPV types can cause cervical cancer, and one of these types can cause cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and certain head and neck cancers (specifically, the oropharynx, which includes the back of the throat, base of the tongue and tonsils). The types of HPV that can cause genital warts are not the same as the types that can cause cancer.
Most people who become infected with HPV do not know they have it. Usually, the body’s immune system gets rid of the HPV infection naturally within two years. This is true of both high-risk and low-risk types. By age 50, at least 4 out of every 5 women will have been infected with HPV at one point in their lives. HPV is also very common in men, and often has no symptoms.
How a High-Risk HPV Infection Can Lead to Cancer
When the body’s immune system can’t get rid of a high-risk HPV infection, it can linger over time and turn normal cells into abnormal cells and then cancer. About 10% of women with high-risk HPV on their cervix will develop long-lasting HPV infections that put them at risk for cervical cancer. Similarly, when high-risk HPV lingers and infects the cells of the vulva, vagina, penis, or anus, it can cause cell changes called precancers. These may eventually develop into cancer if they’re not found and removed in time. These cancers are much less common than cervical cancer. Much less is known about how many people with HPV will develop cancer in these areas.
Lexicon A man’s
Noun – masculine singular
Strong’s Hebrew 120: Ruddy, a human being
Noun – masculine singular construct
Strong’s Hebrew 4976: A present
Verb – Hifil – Imperfect – third person masculine singular
Strong’s Hebrew 7337: To be or grow wide or large
Preposition | third person masculine singular
Verb – Hifil – Imperfect – third person masculine singular | third person masculine singular
Strong’s Hebrew 5148: To guide, to transport
Conjunctive waw, Preposition-l | Noun – common plural construct
Strong’s Hebrew 6440: The face
Adjective – masculine plural
Strong’s Hebrew 1419: Great, older, insolent
(16) A man’s gift.–Judicious liberality “maketh room for him,” helps him to make his way through life. (Comp. Luke 16:9, and the advice there given so to use temporal riches as to gain those of heaven.)
Verse 16. – A man’s gift maketh room for him (comp. Proverbs 19:6). Mattam, “gift,” has been taken in different senses. Some consider it to mean a bribe offered for underhand or fraudulent purposes; but the context does not lead to this conclusion, and the parallel passage mentioned above makes against it. Hitzig sees in it a spiritual gift, equivalent to χάρισμα; but such a meaning is not elsewhere attached to the word. The term here signifies the present which duty or friendship offers to one whom one wishes to please. This paves a man’s way to a great person’s presence. Bringeth him before great men. The Oriental custom of offering suitable gifts to one in authority, when a favour or an audience is desired, is here alluded to (comp. 1 Samuel 10:27; 1 Kings 4:21; 1 Kings 10:25). So the Magi brought gifts so the newborn King at Bethlehem (Matthew 2:11). In a spiritual sense, the right use of riches opens the way to eternal life, evincing a man’s practical love of God and man; as Christ says (Luke 16:9), “Make to yourselves friends by means of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when it shall fail, they may receive you into the eternal tabernacles” (Revised Version). Jump to Previous Gift Giver Great Letting Makes Maketh Offering Opens Presence Room WayJump to Next Gift Giver Great Letting Makes Maketh Offering Opens Presence Room WayLinks Proverbs 18:16 NIV
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Alphabetical: A and before brings for gift giver great him into makes man’s men of opens presence room the ushers way
OT Poetry: Proverbs 18:16 A man’s gift makes room for him (Prov. Pro Pr) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
Lower the voting age to 16 for federal elections?: Today’s talker
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at her weekly news conference on Thursday that she favors lowering the voting age to 16.
Teens should have a voice on federal elections
By David de la Fuente
In the 1960s, the country asked itself that if young men can die in Vietnam, then shouldn’t they be trusted with the right to vote? Similarly now, we must ask ourselves that if 16- and 17-year-olds can contribute to society through work, and face the criminal justice system as adults, isn’t it only reasonable to allow them the right of self-determination through voting?
In these teen years, many individuals begin to work and pay taxes. This is also when we grant the right to drive a car. On the flip side, about 250,000 youth are tried, sentenced or incarcerated as adults every year across the USA. When they’re contributing to society or being held liable by society in these ways, they should also be able to weigh in on the future of our country and those responsible for the laws that affect them.
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That’s why it was great to see freshman Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., lead an effort that allows 16- and 17-year-olds to preregister to vote ahead of their 18th birthday. This policy has already worked in many states: 14 states (and Washington, D.C.) already allow teenagers to preregister to vote at 16, and nine allow it for 17-year-olds.
In California alone, since 2016, more than 200,000 teenagers preregistered before their 18th birthdays.
Congress only has the authority to lower the voting age for federal elections. That’s what sparked the 26th Amendment, which in 1971 lowered the voting age in every election to 18.
Freshmen Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., proposed lowering the voting age from 18 to 16 for federal elections. The proposal failed with only 126 votes but represented a turning point in the fight for enfranchisement. It had the support of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has championed such efforts at the local level in California for years.
Because voter turnout is habitual, it seems like a no-brainer to let people start voting at a younger age. If 16- and 17-year-olds can go to the polls with their parents or other adult figures, it could begin a lifetime of such civic engagement.
Lowering the voting age is a worthy endeavor. Let’s do it.
David de la Fuente is a political analyst at Third Way, a center-left think tank. You can follow him on Twitter: @dpdelafuente
What others are saying
Jeff Jacoby, The Boston Globe: “Teens more often rely on the amygdala, the more emotional, primitive part of the brain. It isn’t from gratuitous animus that car-rental agencies make it difficult for young drivers to rent a vehicle. Or that the Constitution establishes 25 as the minimum age to be a member of Congress. Of course, another reason that 16-year-olds are subject to so many restrictions that don’t apply to grown-ups is that they don’t know anything — or in any case, they don’t know enough to be trusted to make sound decisions about liquor, firearms, joining the Marines and governing the United States. The ignorance of teens is practically a cliché.”
Laurence Steinberg, The New York Times: “Cold cognitive abilities are those we use when we are in a calm situation, when we are by ourselves and have time to deliberate and when the most important skill is the ability to reason logically with facts. Voting is a good example of this sort of situation. Studies of cold cognition have shown that the skills necessary to make informed decisions are firmly in place by 16. By that age, adolescents can gather and process information, weigh pros and cons, reason logically with facts and take time before making a decision. Teenagers may sometimes make bad choices, but statistically speaking, they do not make them any more often than adults do.”
Noah Berlatsky, CNN.com: “In (America) people start voting at 18. That’s the year that they often move off to college. They either have to cast ballots in a community with which they’re unfamiliar, or pay attention to elections in a place where they no longer reside. That’s a recipe for indifference. It would be much easier to encourage people to vote for the first time, and to establish voting patterns for a lifetime, when they’re 16 and in high school. … One objection is that young people will just vote like their parents. But researchers have found that people are always influenced by those close to them. People of all ages vote like their parents, or like their spouses, or like their neighbors.”
What readers are saying
Since 2016, (some) Democrats have endorsed ending the Electoral College, lowering the voting age to 16 and giving undocumented immigrants the ability to vote. Why? Because they know they can’t beat President Donald Trump in 2020 under the current rules.
Disagree that Democrats are (trying to lower the voting age) to address the 2020 election alone. It’s a reaction to GOP gerrymandering. I am for two things: 1. Automatic registration and 2. Voting on Election Day.
Most 16-year-olds don’t even have a solid view of what they want to do with their future. Why would you lower the voting age for them to choose someone to run the entire country, when they don’t even know what to have for breakfast?
This is what concerns me about lowering the voting age to 16. In our culture, as teenagers we do not have the needed life skills to make informed decisions that not only affect ourselves but millions of others.
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What Are HPV 16 and 18?
HPV 16 and 18 have been shown to significantly increase the risk of cervical cancer as well as genital cancers.
Persistent HPV 16 and 18 infections markedly increase in the risk of cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and penile cancers. Alamy
HPV is short for human papillomavirus, a very common virus that infects nearly everyone at some point.
There are many different strains of the virus, each identified with a number. HPV 16 and 18 are high-risk types known to significantly increase the risk of cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancer in women, as well as penile cancer in men. The strains can also cause anal cancer and throat cancers in men and women.
About 40 of the 150 or so types of HPV can infect the genital regions and other mucous membranes (such as the mouth and throat), but only a portion of these can cause cancer.
In most people, HPV infections are transient, since the infected cells are shed from the body naturally. In a minority of people, though, the HPV persists, and if the persistent HPV is type 16 or 18, there is a marked increase in the risk of developing genital, anal, or oral cancer (depending on where the infection is located).
But even in people whose HPV persists, the time from infection with a high-risk HPV type to the development of cancer is generally measured in years.
For women, such slow growth allows precancerous changes in the cervical cells, called dysplasia, to be found on screening Pap tests or, more recently, HPV tests that look for high-risk types of HPV in the cells of the cervix.
No screening tests exist for HPV-related cancers in other areas of the body.
HPV Is Common, Yet Commonly Misunderstood
HPV has been estimated to infect more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, with about 12,000 Americans ages 15 to 24 being infected daily. It’s the most commonly diagnosed sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the United States and abroad.
HPV also causes common skin warts, which are not considered STDs.
In spite of its ubiquity, though, HPV is widely misunderstood.
“The most common misconception that my patients have when they get a positive test for high-risk HPV is that this is an STD similar to chlamydia or herpes,” says Jane Oh, MD, an ob-gyn (obstetrician-gynecologist) in Arlington Heights, Illinois.
While HPV is sexually transmitted, Dr. Oh says almost everyone who has had sex will have HPV at some time or another.
“The only people who won’t have HPV are those who have never had sexual contact with anyone or someone who has had sexual contact with one partner who also has never had sexual contact with anyone else,” adds Oh.
How Will I Know if I Have HPV?
Even though HPV is common, many women will never know they’ve contracted it, since HPV-infected cells are often shed from the cervix with no intervention.
This is particularly true in women under 30 years old.
“Many times, when women acquire HPV at a young age, there is a high clearance rate, and they tend to clear it on their own without any need for procedures like colposcopies, which we used to perform a lot in the early 2000s,” said Salena Zanotti, MD, an ob-gyn at the Cleveland Clinic in Avon, Ohio. “This is because our immune systems are definitely more active the younger we are.”
A colposcopy is a procedure in which a magnifying instrument and bright light are used to examine the cervix.
Because of this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that if a woman has a history of normal Pap smears and doesn’t have certain risk factors, such as a compromised immune system, she should have a Pap smear and HPV test together every five years from 30 years old until age 65.
Zanotti says the only time she runs an HPV test on someone in their twenties is if they’ve had a Pap smear come back with abnormal results.
“To help triage that reading, we do the HPV test,” said Zanotti.
While Oh agrees that women in their twenties need not be tested for HPV, she screens her patients at least every three years from age 30 onward.
“In my practice, I have seen women have negative HPV one year and positive the next. A lot can happen in five years, so I don’t space out testing this far,” Oh says.
What if I Test Positive for HPV 16 or 18?
Testing positive for HPV types 16 or 18 doesn’t guarantee you’ll develop cervical cancer, but it does mean that any dysplasia found in a Pap test carries a higher risk of becoming a cancer.
Based on the results of these two tests, your doctor can develop a plan to either treat the dysplasia, do more testing to rule out cancer, or recommend more frequent follow-up visits to look for additional changes.
“Paps of the cervix have been tested for a long time, and we know the changes HPV causes in the cervix,” notes Zanotti.
If you get diagnosed with HPV, and everything else tests okay, then most likely the HPV will clear on its own within one to two years, if you don’t have a suppressed immune system.
What About Screening for Anal HPV?
If you’re concerned about HPV in the anus, Oh adds that HPV doesn’t cause the same changes in the anus as it does in the cervix, so a Pap smear is not going to be an effective test to perform.
Your doctor may refer you to someone who performs anal Pap smears, anoscopies, or high-resolution anoscopies, which use a high-resolution magnifying instrument to identify abnormal cells.
Rise in HPV 16–Related Throat Cancer
For years, heavy tobacco and alcohol use were the primary risk factors for developing cancer of the oropharynx — the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and the tonsils.
Today, HPV is the primary cause of oropharyngeal cancer around the world.
In the United States, HPV is thought to cause 70 percent of all oropharyngeal cancers, with HPV 16 causing 60 percent of all oropharyngeal cancers, according to the CDC. (1)
Both oral HPV infection and HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer are much more common among men than women.
In addition, oral HPV 16 infection is six times more common in men than women ages 18 to 69, according to a report published in November 17 in Annals of Internal Medicine. (2)
The report additionally found the following:
- The overall prevalence of oral HPV infection was 11.5 percent in men and 3.2 percent in women.
- High-risk oral HPV infection was more prevalent among men than women, 7.3 percent compared with 1.8 percent.
- Among men who reported having two or more same-sex oral sex partners, the prevalence of high-risk HPV infection was 22.2 percent.
- Oral HPV prevalence among men who also had genital HPV infection was fourfold greater (19.3 percent) than among those without genital HPV (4.4 percent).
The good news is that oropharyngeal cancer caused by HPV has a much higher five-year survival rate after treatment than head and neck cancers not associated with HPV. (3)
RELATED: 5 Things to Know About HPV-Related Throat Cancer
Does the HPV Vaccine Protect Against Types 16 and 18?
The HPV vaccine, Gardasil 9, protects against both types 16 and 18, as well as several other cancer-causing types of the virus and the two main causes of genital warts.
The CDC recommends that all boys and girls get the HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12. However, it can be given through age 26 in women and through age 21 in men.
The CDC additionally recommends the vaccine for any man who has sex with men, and men with compromised or weakened immune systems — including from HIV — through age 26.
Zanotti notes that some parents are hesitant to give their child the HPV vaccine because HPV is associated with sexual activity.
“I tell my patients, ‘If you vaccinated your child against measles, mumps, and rubella, they’re more likely to get HPV than they are to get rubella these days, and HPV is something that causes cancer. It’s pretty clear cut: If you can do something to prevent the cancer, why wouldn’t you?” she says.
Zanotti adds that while more parents are getting their sons vaccinated, it is still not as common as vaccinations in girls. “But if in the next 10 years, boys get the vaccine as often, we will see the amount of HPV going down significantly,” she says.
Still, Oh cautions that the HPV vaccine doesn’t do away with the need for safer sexual practices.
“Everyone needs to know that the HPV vaccine is not a foolproof method of preventing all cervical cancer,” she says. “We still need to protect ourselves: Use condoms, limit partners, support our immune systems, and get those Pap smears to prevent cervical cancer.”
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Strains 16 and 18
The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) strains 16 and 18 are the two most common HPV strains that lead to cases of genital cancer. HPV is the most commonly sexually transmitted disease, resulting in more than fourteen million cases per year in the United States alone. When left untreated, HPV leads to high risks of cervical, vaginal, vulvar, anal, and penile cancers. In 1983 and 1984 in Germany, physician Harald zur Hausen found that two HPV strains, HPV-16 and HPV-18, caused cervical cancer in women. In the early twenty first century, pharmaceutical companies Merck & Co. and GlaxoSmithKline created HPV vaccines protecting against HPV-16 and HPV-18, which have reduced the number of HPV infections by fifty-six percent in the US. Discovering HPV strains 16 and 18 allowed physicians to test for those cancer-causing cell populations using Pap smears, a diagnostic tool that collects cells from the woman’s cervix to identify cancerous cases of HPV infection. By identifying the cancerous strains of HPV-16 and HPV-18 and utilizing preventative measures such as the Pap smear and HPV vaccines, scientists and doctors have reduced the rates of cervical cancer and other HPV-related cancers.
HPV and cervical cancer research started with the study of genital warts caused by sexually transmitted viruses with the idea that genital warts eventually led to genital cancers, primarily cervical cancer. In 1928 in the US, physician George Papanikolaou developed early versions of the Pap smear test, a screening test that collects and analyzes cells scraped from the woman’s cervix, as a diagnostic test primarily for cervical cancer. Pap smear samples showed one of the first observations of cancer in cervical cells. Harald zur Hausen started his research on HPV after reviewing medical reports that discussed cases of HPV genital warts that progressed to cervical cancer in female patients, and in 1976, he published his hypothesis that HPV caused cervical cancer in the article, “Condylomata Acuminata and Human Genital Cancer.
In his experiments, zur Hausen looked for HPV DNA in genital warts and tumor samples. In the samples, he first identified DNA from HPV strains 6 and 11, two common HPV types that cause genital warts. If HPV strains 6 and 11 from genital warts caused cancer, zur Hausen hypothesized that he would find those same strains in cervical tumor samples. Zur Hausen analyzed cervical tumor samples and found a low prevalence of HPV-6 and HPV-11, but noticed other HPV DNA in the cervical tumor samples that he identified as HPV strains 16 and 18. He then looked for the DNA of HPV strains 16 and 18 in both genital warts and genital tumor samples. He discovered very little HPV-16 and HPV-18 DNA in the genital warts samples and a high prevalence of HPV-16 and HPV-18 DNA in the genital tumor samples. From those results, zur Hausen concluded that HPV-6 and HPV-11 caused genital warts, not cancer, and HPV-16 and HPV-18 caused cervical cancer.
Following zur Hausen’s isolation HPV DNA and finding HPV strains 16 and 18 in cervical tumors, scientists began identifying more types of HPV. By identifying more types of HPV and looking for their DNA in tumors, scientists built evidence that some strains of HPV caused cervical cancer and looked for solutions to prevent cervical cancer. Researchers have identified over 150 types of HPV, linking multiple HPV types to HPV-related conditions of warts and cancerous tumors. Scientists have linked other HPV strains, such as HPV-31, HPV-33, and HPV-35, to cervical cancer. Current research correlates HPV infections with an increase in oral cancers, supported by prevalence of HPV-16 DNA in throat cancer tumors. While HPV-16 primarily is known to cause cervical cancer, HPV-16 is also associated with oral cancers due to HPV transmission through oral sex.
HPV is spread sexually through genital skin contact. Subsequent, infection of the epithelial cells, the cells that line the cavities of organs, leads to increased risks of cancer. HPV infection occurs when HPV integrates its own DNA with the DNA in the body’s cells. If successful, the HPV DNA is expressed in the body’s cells. The cells that express HPV DNA are called permissive cells. Permissive cells enable viral HPV replication, which causes the HPV infection persist in the body. Persistent HPV infections occur when the HPV DNA successfully survives in the body, resulting in long-term chronic infections.
Physicians treat symptoms, such as genital warts caused by HPV-6 and HPV-11, with medication, but medication is not always necessary. HPV infections can eventually go away on its own, though scientists are not entirely sure how. Physicians use Pap smears not only to detect cervical cancer but also HPV-16 and HPV-18 strains that might later lead to cancer. Abnormal Pap smears show abnormal cervical cells, changes primarily caused by HPV-16 and HPV-18. In most cases, abnormal cervical cells revert to normal cells as the HPV infection often resolving on its own. Over time, however, if the cervical cells remain abnormal and if physicians are able to detect the abnormalities early, they remove the cells from the body to prevent the cells from leading to cancer. As of 2016, scientists and physicians have not found treatments for HPV after infection has already occurred and have not found complete explanations as to why HPV infections resolve on their own.
Physicians and scientists advocate for HPV vaccination, a preventative measure to reduce the risk of genital warts and cervical cancer caused by HPV strains 6, 11, 16, and 18. Pharmaceutical companies Merck & Co. and GlaxoSmithKline created two HPV vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix in the first decade of the twenty-first century. The HPV vaccines act as a preventative method to protect against HPV-related cancers. Gardasil is a vaccine that protects against the HPV strains 6, 11, 16, and 18, which commonly cause both genital warts and cervical cancer. Cervarix is a vaccine that only protects against HPV strains 16 and 18, which primarily cause cervical cancer. Since the HPV vaccine is a preventative measure against HPV, a sexually transmitted disease, the vaccine is intended for young children before they become sexually active to ensure immunity. If the child is vaccinated before he or she becomes sexually active, the child develops immunity by having the antibodies that will recognize and fight off the HPV infection if the child does contract HPV. The HPV vaccine is less effective in sexually active adults because they most likely have already been exposed to HPV.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Gardasil for use in both boys and girls because Gardasil protects against the HPV strains that cause genital warts, symptoms that occur in both men and women. Cervarix, on the other hand, is approved only for use in girls as it only protects against the HPV strains that cause cervical cancer, HPV-15 and HPV-18. Current research demonstrates the effectiveness of the HPV vaccines, showing a significant reduction in cervical cancer prevalence in women. Studies conducted in 2009 and 2012 demonstrated that Gardasil showed a forty-three percent efficacy rate for protecting against cervical cancer and that Cervarix demonstrated a ninety-three percent efficacy rate for protecting against cervical cancer. As of 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that Merck & Co. is working on a new HPV vaccine that protects against nine types of HPV, since more HPV types have been identified and linked to cervical cancer than just HPV-16 and HPV-18.
Following the production of HPV vaccines, some groups disapproved of HPV vaccination. HPV vaccines are sometimes opposed because the vaccines are primarily intended for young children. Some parents who are against vaccinating their children believe that the HPV vaccines may promote promiscuous behavior, are unsafe, or are ineffective. While the US government does not require HPV vaccination, some states have mandated or strongly recommended HPV vaccination as a health precaution for their students. In 2013, the CDC reported that thirty-five percent of adolescent boys and fifty-seven percent of adolescent girls received one or more doses of the HPV vaccine.
Strains of Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Human papillomaviruses (HPV) are extremely common DNA viruses that only infect humans.
Papilloma is a word that means a small wart-like growth on the skin or mucous membrane. There are many types of papillomaviruses – even some that your pet may get. For example, dogs get canine papillomaviruses. So if you are wondering, “can you get HPV from animals?” the answer is no. HPV is only a human skin infection.
HPV is thought to be the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the world. Almost every person will have HPV at some point in their lives.
There are over 150 types of HPV that live on the body and only a small number of types (ie. high-risk HPV) cause problems by changing cells from normal to abnormal.
HPV infect skin cells. Infection with low-risk HPV types can cause external genital warts. Low-risk HPV (lrHPV) – HPV 6 and HPV 11 cause approximately 90% of genital warts and are rarely associated with pre-cancer or cancer of the lower genital tract.
Warts on other parts of the body, such as the hands, are caused by different types of HPV. Contact with these warts does not seem to cause genital HPV warts.
Infection with high-risk HPV (hrHPV) types that are not cleared by the immune system can cause cervical cancers and a significant proportion of cancers of the anus, oropharynx, vagina, vulva and penis. HPV cancers take many years to develop.
The 14 most cancer-causing HPV types include types 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66 and 68. Types 16 and HPV 18 are most commonly associated with development of cancer, together accounting for about 70% of invasive cervical cancers. However, not all infections with HPV 16 or 18 do progress to cancer. In addition, HPV 16 is strongly associated with anal cancer and throat cancer.
Current research indicates that high-risk HPV changes the host (human) cell but its growth needs additional triggers to cause cancer.
Most HPV infections are transient and thought to clear naturally before they cause any health problems.