A government study shines a new spotlight on the vaccine that protects against the Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV, which is a leading cause of Cervical Cancer.
The study shows how common it is today to find women and teens who are already HPV infected.
"We found that overall HPV prevalence among females in the United States, ages 14 to 59 years of age, was 26.8 percent, and that means one in four women are infected with HPV. The prevalence was highest among the 20 to 24-year-old women. Almost half of those women were infected with HPV," said Dr. Eileen Dunne, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Dunne was part of the study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which used health data from more than 2,000 women and teens in this country.
Remember, there are more than a 100 types of HPV infections and only a few lead to Cervical Cancer or other serious complications. Dr. Dunne adds that the number of HPV infected women is likely even higher than the study indicates. That's because the study only measured active infections and she says there's no way to know how many women and teens have been infected, but the virus isn't active yet.
You can read more about the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.