About 1 in 5 U.S. adults under age 60 is infected with a "high-risk" strain of genital human papillomavirus (HPV) that increases the risk of cancer, according to a new report.
For the report, researchers analyzed information from a nationally representative sample of Americans ages 18 to 59 who took part in a health survey from 2013 to 2014. As part of the survey, the participants underwent a physical exam in which they swabbed their genitals, and these samples were tested for DNA from 37 different types of HPV. Fourteen of these HPV types are known as high-risk strains because they are linked with an increased risk of certain cancers, including cancers of the cervix, vagina, vulva, anus, penis and throat.
Overall, about 23 percent of the participants were infected with a high-risk strain of genital HPV, the report found. These strains were slightly more common in men than in women. About 25 percent of the men were infected with a high-risk strain of genital HPV, compared with 20 percent of women.