High Risk HPV Strains
High-risk strains numbered 16, 18, 31 and 45 cause abnormal cell growth. According to the Centers for Disease Control, HPV is responsible for almost all cervical cancers in women. About 40% of vulvar cancers and 70% of vaginal cancers are linked to HPV. For men, these high-risk HPV strains account for 40% of penile cancer and 85% of anal cancer. The highest risk group for anal cancer are men having sex with men – MSM. Read more about HPV in Women and HPV in Men.Recent research has shown that HPV strain 16 and other strains have been found in 35-50% of oral cancers and cancers of the head and neck.
Low Risk HPV Strains
HPV types 6 and 11 are considered low risk HPV strains and are the ones responsible for causing genital warts.HPV is a virus. When the body’s immune system is healthy, the body will clear the infection. Some studies show that once a strain of HPV has been cleared, the strain is less likely to return. However, it’s possible to acquire different strains of HPV.The group with the highest prevalence for acquiring high-risk strains of HPV is individuals between the ages of 14-19 years old. Exposure to HPV can happen without sexual intercourse. The virus is spread by skin to skin contact in the genital area. The vaccine, GARDASIL®, has been very effective in protecting girls and young women between the ages of 9 and 26 as well as young men between the ages of 9 and 26 from HPV types 16 and 18 that cause certain cancers and HPV types 6 and 11 which cause genital warts. Read more about the vaccine GARDASIL®.