Half of adult males carry HPV | Science News

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Half of adult males carry HPV

Human papillomavirus lingers for months in men, study shows

6:21pm, February 28, 2011

The virus notorious for causing cervical cancer in women also turns up frequently in men and can hang on unnoticed for months or even years, researchers report online March 1 in Lancet. The study solidifies earlier research indicating that human papillomavirus is highly prevalent in men and strengthens the case for vaccinating men and boys against it, the report’s authors say.

There are dozens of types of HPV, including more than 40 that can be transmitted sexually. Some can cause cancer. Two vaccines, Merck’s Gardasil and GlaxoSmithKline’s Cervarix protect against two types of cancer-causing HPV. Both vaccines are approved and recommended for girls and young women. Gardasil is also recommended for boys up to age 18 since its protection extends to two additional types of HPV that cause genital warts in males and females.

It’s widely assumed that limiting the virus in men or women would diminish its spread in the whole population. But

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