HPV stands for human papillomavirus, a small DNA virus that can affect the skin lining the anus, genital track, and the throat. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says almost every sexually active person will acquire HPV at some point in their lives.

79 million Americans, most in their late teens and early 20s, are infected with HPV.

Researchers have identified over 100 HPV types so far. The HPV-16 strain is most commonly associated with oropharyngeal cancer, or cancer of the back of the throat including the base of the tongue and tonsils.


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