The first national estimate suggests that nearly half of U.S. men have genital infections caused by a sexually transmitted virus and that 1 in 4 has strains linked with several cancers.
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Most human papillomavirus infections cause no symptoms and most disappear without treatment. And most adults will get an HPV infection at some point in their lives.
But high-risk HPV can cause cancer in the mouth and upper throat, cervical cancer in women and other cancers. Less harmful strains can cause genital warts
Vaccines in pre-teens and young adults can prevent HPV infections but experts say vaccination rates are too low.
The new estimate comes from an analysis of a 2013-14 national health survey. Results were published Thursday in the journal JAMA Oncology.