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07 April 2017, 02:26 | Elizabeth Houston
A new Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report shows the amount of young people who have been vaccinated against HPV. Allan Reinikka
Over the course of a recent two-year period, almost 23 percent of USA adults between the ages of 18 and 59 were infected with the type of genital human papillomavirus (HPV) that puts a person at high risk of developing certain cancers, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, released last week, shows the percentage of girls, and for the first time, boys, aged 15 who have been fully immunised against the human papillomavirus (HPV). As the Washington Post notes, the prevalence of HPV was higher in men than women in both groups, in addition to being far higher among blacks than other ethnic and racial groups.
"Men had a higher prevalence of oral HPV than women", the team wrote.
More than 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year in the US, and more than 4,000 of them will die of it. HPV is also linked to cancers of the vagina, vulva, penis, anus, and back of the throat, tongue and tonsils, in men and women.
Experts believe that most sexually active people have HPV at some point.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted virus that is responsible for the majority of cervical cancer cases.
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Einstein, who is also assistant dean of the clinical research unit at New Jersey Medical School, has been an investigator on a number of HPV vaccine clinical trials and was on the guidelines writing group for the American Cancer Society and a consultant to the World Health Organization.
In 2015, 87 percent of 13-year-olds were up-to-date with the Tdap vaccine that protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, and 80 percent had received the meningococcal vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "The vaccine is targeted to very young kids because you have to catch them before they are sexually active".
Positive results of the study would offer women the opportunity to protect themselves and their sexual partners against potentially deadly HPV infection through the simple application of an cheap, over-the-counter product. Non-Hispanic Asian adults had the lowest rates.
The CDC recommends vaccination for the youth ages 11 to 12 years to be protected from HPV prior to potential exposure to the virus through sexual contact.
The vaccine is estimated to prevent 5,000 cancer deaths annually, said Dr. Paul Offit, professor of pediatrics and director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. It's up to doctors to include the vaccine in the usual vaccine schedule, she said. "It is important that we share this good news to encourage continued participation in this successful programme". And our promise to you is that we will always strive to provide indispensable journalism to our community.
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