Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is prevalent worldwide. If a person is sexually active, the likelihood of being infected is 90% for men and 80% for women. The virus is widespread, and most often dismissed, until a problem arises.

It could be that people are uncomfortable talking about HPV because it is a sexually transmitted infection. More people in the world have had HPV and never known it than there are people who have never had it. 9 out of 10 times, the body clears HPV with the infected person not even knowing they had it at all. It is the other percentage that can have serious consequences for not being vaccinated.

Vaccinations for HPV in Idaho

With 10,000 school-age children unvaccinated against polio, measles, and the like, how likely is it that Idahoans are going to be willing to prevent a type of cancer for which there is a vaccine? In Idaho, the word is out about preventable cancers. In 2022, Idaho passed the national average in HPV vaccination rates.

Map of HPV Vaccination
Credit America's Health Rankings

It is recommended that people get vaccinated before becoming sexually active, but even adults up to the age of 45 can be vaccinated. Even with the use of condoms, HPV can cause genital warts, and that’s bad. In its dormant but not dead state, HPV can cause cancer in both men and women. In Idaho, more males were diagnosed with cancers caused by HPV than were women from 2016 to 2020.

While people who were adults when the HPV vaccine first became available are now developing cancer, their children and grandchildren can be free from this cancer-causing virus.

LOOK: Counties with the highest cancer rates in Idaho

Stacker ranked the counties with the highest cancer rates in Idaho using data from the CDC. These are the top 10 highest average rates between 2016 and 2020.

Gallery Credit: Brad/Stacker

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What did the grape say after getting vaccinated? I feel vine!

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