Human papillomavirus (HPV) in the U.S. - Statistics & Facts

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States. There are over 150 different types of HPV, but only a small number are spread sexually and cause health problems. Most HPV infections are harmless and go away with time, but others can cause genital warts and cancer. Genital HPV infections are spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex and can infect the vulva, vagina, cervix, rectum, anus, penis, scrotum, mouth and throat. In most cases, those infected with HPV show no symptoms of the infection and do not even know they are infected. In the period 2011 to 2014, it was estimated that around 11.5 percent of male and 3.3 percent of female adults in the U.S. were infected with oral HPV, while 45.2 percent of males and 39.9 percent of females were infected with genital HPV.

Although HPV is usually harmless, it can cause certain cancers. From 2011 to 2015, it was estimated that HPV caused around 10,750 cases of cervix cancer and 10,700 cases of oropharynx cancer among males. In relation to the total number of cases of such cancers, HPV was estimated to have caused 91 percent of cervix cancers during this period and 72 percent of oropharynx cancers among men. In general, around 83 percent of all HPV-associated cancers among women were probably caused by HPV, while 74 percent of all HPV-associated cancers among men were probably caused by HPV.

Although there is no cure for HPV, there is a vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends two doses of the HPV vaccine for all 11- to 12-year-olds to protect against HPV-associated cancers. As of 2017, around 65.5 percent of adolescents in the U.S. had received one or more doses of the HPV vaccine. Female adolescents are more likely to have received one or more doses of the HPV vaccine than male adolescents, with 68.6 percent of females receiving the vaccine compared to 62.6 percent of males. In 2016, a survey found the leading factor contributing to the underutilization of the HPV vaccine according to health care professionals is that parents do not perceive their child to be at risk for acquiring an STI. In addition to the vaccine, the use of condoms is also recommended to help prevent the spread of HPV.

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Human papillomavirus (HPV) in the U.S.

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HPV-associated cancers

HPV-associated cancers among women

HPV-associated cancers among men

HPV vaccine