Don’t Freak Out But You Almost Certainly Have HPV

PIC: HPV (PD)

PIC: HPV (PD)

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.

via 70% of Americans Infected with HPV | LiveScience.

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  • Virtually Yours

    From the article: “In fact, although people tend to think of viral infections as “bad,” it’s possible that infection with some HPV strains may have benefits, Pei said. For example, infection with some “good” HPV strains may stimulate the immune system so that the body is able to fight off the harmful, cancer-causing HPV strains, Pei said.”

    Made me think of this old-school clip from The Simpsons: “Indestructible…”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYFcT9sDSBs

  • InfvoCuernos

    69% is a lot, but I don’t know that I would say “almost certainly”. Maybe “probably” would be a little better.

  • heinrich6666

    Hell, I’ve always known I’ve had something — ever since I ate out that girl with a yeast infection.

    • Chad Burke

      Ewwww! Why? So much for dinner.

  • heinrich6666

    Yes, it did. For weeks afterward.

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