The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services report that the Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection, causing health problems including genital warts and cancers.
Missouri has one of the highest rates of HPV infection in the country.
The CDC states you can get HPV by having vaginal, anal, or oral sexual contact with someone who has the virus. With approximately 79 million Americans having HPV, almost every unvaccinated sexually active American will get HPV. While this infection often goes away on its own, when HPV does not go away, it can cause genital warts and cancer. HPV is thought to be responsible for about 91% of cervical cancers, 75% of vaginal cancers, 63% of penile cancers, 91% of anal cancers, and 70% of oropharyngeal cancers. HPV cancers cause about 6,100 deaths a year in America.
Many people may not even know they have HPV. Some people find out they have HPV when they get genital warts. Women may find out they have HPV when they get an abnormal Pap test result during cervical cancer screening.
Tune in next week for what is being done to reduce the rates of HPV in our community.