69% of Healthy Americans Have HPV
But it probably won't hurt you
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted May 20, 2014 1:40 PM CDT
Updated May 20, 2014 1:54 PM CDT
A 3D rendering of a virus.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – So, don't freak out or anything, but odds are good that you have human papillomavirus. After all, 69% of healthy American adults do, according to a new study released by the NYU Langone Medical Center. That's the bad news. The good news is that it's probably harmless; only four of the 103 infected people researchers looked at had one of the two HPV strains most likely to cause cancer or genital warts.

The two-year study was based on publicly available information from the National Institutes of Health's Human Microbiome Project. Whereas past studies looked only for the harmful strains of HPV, this one widened its net. "We don't want people to be alarmed," one researcher tells LiveScience. In fact, the team suspects that some of these HPV strains might actually be helpful by stimulating the immune system to fight off more harmful versions—and that the body may have "a seemingly 'normal' HPV viral biome" similar to its helpful bacteria ecosystem.

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Showing 3 of 18 comments
Harris Meh
Feb 6, 2016 1:11 AM CST
It's disastrous to get Herpes in life, being single and ignored is more disastrous, these people with herpes always receive a cold shoulder from society. They don't feel special any day not even on special occasions like valentine day in their lives. These things can change this Valentine’s Day as HSVfinder is offering many special features, which can help herpes singles to find their valentine in short period of time. Grab an opportunity here on HSVfinder.com to meet someone with herpes and make this day a special day in your life.
BugFace
May 21, 2014 2:30 PM CDT
I'm willing to bet it's actually higher than that, as it doesn't always show up on tests. I've never tested positive for it, but I by no means think that means I definitely don't have it. There's still a good chance I (and most other people) do. The same is true for herpes. When I was 18 and freaking out just over the possibility of even having sex, my doctor informed me that most people actually have some form of herpes and never show any symptoms.
Tology
May 21, 2014 9:09 AM CDT
If you have skin tags, you have HPV. I'm sure a lot of us carry more than that.