By Richard Asinof
ATLANTA – Federal health officials pointed to the measure of success for the vaccine for human papilloma virus, the most common sexually transmitted disease in the U.S.
S., as results from a new study found that the prevalence of HPV had dropped in half in the last decade for young women between the ages of 14 to 19.
The study was published in this month’s issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, based upon interviews and vaginal swabs from more than 8,000 girls and women between the ages of 14 to 59 that were evaluated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
About 14 million people become infected each year, with a total of about 79 million Americans infected, mostly in their late teens and early 20s.
Thomas R. Freiden, director of CDC, called the study “a wake-up call” for the need to increase vaccination rates to protect the next generation from cancer. The virus causes about 19,000 cancers in women every year, and about 8,000 in men, according to CDC statistics. Cervical cancer is most common among women and throat cancer is most common among men.