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Millions in the U.S. Are Infected with HPV

Nearly 80 million people in the U.S.–1 in every 4 people–are infected with at least one strain of HPV.[1,2] HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. Of the more than 100 types of HPV that have been identified, at least 40 can infect the genital areas, mouths, and throats of both males and females. Almost all sexually active men and women will be infected at some point in their lives, even those who have had sex with only one other person.[2]

Most HPV types pose little risk, and the vast majority of HPV infections (about 90%) are cleared by the immune system within two years. However, if the virus is not cleared, certain HPV types can cause health problems, including several types of cancer, genital warts, and noncancerous but serious tumors in the respiratory tract called recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP).


  1. Satterwhite CL, Torrone E, Meites E, Dunne EF, Mahajan R, Ocfemia MC, et al. Sexually transmitted infections among U.S. women and men: prevalence and incidence estimates, 2008. Sex Transm Dis. 2013;40(3):187-93. Available from:
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Genital HPV infection–fact sheet [Internet]. Atlanta (GA): CDC; [updated 2013 Jul 25; cited 2013 Jul 26]. Available from: