HPV stands for the 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.

A February 2013 report by the CDC reveals there are 20 million new infections of HPV in the U.S. every year, more than half of them are among the nation’s youth.

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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