A new report shows half of the men in the general population have the human papillomavirus or HPV, the most common sexually transmitted infection. Many men and women don't know they have it and don't get tested.
A new study in the Lancet looked at more than 1,000 men and found approximately half are infected with HPV. The virus is primarily known for causing cervical cancer in women.
But it also causes genital warts and several kinds of cancers in men. Anna Giuliano with the Moffit Cancer Center explains, "It causes cancer in the mouth, at the base of tongue and tonsils. it causes penile cancer and anal cancer."
The vaccine, while primarily for girls, is also available for boys and men, but it's not recommended for them yet. Experts say this study may help change that. Giuliano says, "We have clear evidence from published studies now that HPV vaccination of males will prevent infection & cancer."
About 20 million Americans have HPV, most of the time it clears up on its own.