(CNN) - Nearly 80 million Americans are currently infected with a type of human papillomavirus, better known as HPV. The virus can lead to cancer later in life, but a new report shows more people are now taking steps to prevent it.
The percentage of those ages 18 to 26 who have received one or more doses of the HPV vaccine has nearly doubled in five years. (Source: CNN)
About 14 million Americans, including teens, become infected with HPV each year. A new report released by the National Center for Health Statistics shows HPV vaccination is on the rise among young adults in the United States.
The percentage of those ages 18 to 26 who have received one or more doses of the HPV vaccine has nearly doubled in five years from 22.1% in 2013 to 39.9% in 2018.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two doses of the HPV vaccine for boys and girls ages 11 and 12 and three doses in 6 months if you are 15 or older.
HPV is a group of more than 200 related viruses which can spread through sexual contact.
While most HPV infections don't cause cancer, high risk HPV infections that persist can cause six types of the disease, including cervical cancer in women and penile cancer in men.
The CDC says the vaccination can prevent 90% of HPV cancers.
The CDC also says there's no way to know which people who have HPV will develop cancer or other health problems.
People with weakened immune systems may be less able to fight off HPV and more likely to develop health problems from it.
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