HPV is all up in your guts. Scientists want you to relax, though. It’s probably not dangerous. Probably not. Almost certainly not the kind that causes cancer.
Alternate headline: “You’re so HPV and you don’t even know it!”
More than two-thirds of healthy Americans have a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection on some part of their body, a new study suggests.
Researchers examined DNA from tissue samples of about 100 men and women and found that 69 percent were infected with HPV.
The most common place to have an HPV infection was the skin — 61 percent of participants had an HPV infection on the skin, followed by 41 percent who had vaginal infections, 30 percent who had mouth infections and 17 percent who had gut infections. [Quiz: Test Your STD Smarts]
Altogether, the researchers found 109 strains of HPV, out of 148 known strains.
However, most of these infections are likely harmless, as participants did not have symptoms of illness, the researchers said. Just 4 percent of people in the study were infected with HPV-16 or HPV-18, the two strains of HPV that cause the majority of cervical cancers.