The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world.
By age 50, about 80% of women have been infected by some type of HPV.
Most HPV infections do not cause any symptoms, therefore people are unaware that they are infected.
70-80% of HPV infections resolve spontaneously because our immune system fights them off.
HPV is found in 99% of cervical cancers.
There are 100 strains of HPV, 12 or more are classified as “high risk” and are linked to cancer.
Most women with HPV do NOT develop cervical cancer.
About 20% of women infected with HPV will develop chronic infection, and 2% of these will develop cervical cancer.
Two strains of HPV are responsible for causing genital warts.
Sexual intercourse is not necessary for transmission of HPV; skin to skin genital/genital, genital/anal and possibly genital/oral contact is sufficient for transmission.
Use of condoms can reduce the risk of transmission, but it cannot prevent all transmission because some genital tissue remains uncovered.
HPV is the cause of many high and moderate grade abnormal pap smears (CIN 2/3) and some low grade lesions (CIN 1).
HPV is estimated to cause:
70% of anal cancers
50% of vaginal and vulvar cancers
50% of penile cancers
20% of head and neck cancers
Researchers are looking at vaccinating men as well as women.
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