More HPV infections among young girls

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The number of Dutch with an HPV infection has increased since the 90s. Especially in young girls between 15 and 24 years, the number of infections increased, reported the VUmc Thursday.HPV causes cervical cancer among other things. The number of HPV infections increased from 20 to 23 percent between 1996 and 2007, concluded VUmc researcher Myrtle Scherpenisse.

They tested the blood of Dutch for the presence of HPV antibodies. These are proteins produced by the body itself if there is or has been an HPV infection.


Scherpenisse calls it remarkable that the number of HPV infections in girls between 15 and 24 years has increased. According to her, the girls from the previous survey in 2007 were sexually active.

The study of Scherpenisse also showed that antibodies the body produces after an HPV infection don't fully protect against a new infection. A vaccine provides better protection, according to the researcher.

HPV is a common and highly contagious virus, transmitted through sexual contact. Usually the body clears the virus itself. Sometimes, however, the virus may linger, and can cause cervical cancer, even though chances of this happening are small.

In 2009, the National Institute for Public Health and Environment started vaccinating girls aged 12 and up against HPV.

Scherpenisse was promoted on her research on Thursday.