Over 1 in 50 People Have HPV in Their Throats

Most people know by now that the human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cervical cancer. But HPV can linger in people's throats, causing throat cancer in women and men.

In England, more than 1 in 50 people are carrying HPV in their throats, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal Open. The study stated that oral sex and smoking were the leading transmitters of the virus.

“Many people associate the HPV virus with cervical cancer but there is less recognition of the fact that HPV causes oropharyngeal cancer, and unfortunately the prevalence of this cancer has increased dramatically in the past few years," Dr. Craig Murdoch said in The Independent. 

Researchers from the University of Sheffeld tested 700 British men and women for HPV and asked them lifestyle questions that ranged from their sexual history to smoking habits. The study was led by Dr. Vanessa Hearnden, who she said that she supports programs that vaccinate boys for HPV. 

Currently, countries such as the US encourage girls to get HPV vaccinations, but they do not emphasize prevention for males.