People of all ages susceptible to HPV

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June 14, 2019 - 4:24 PM

Dear Dr. Roach: I read your recent column stating that the HPV vaccine is recommended up to age 45. Are people older than 45 years no longer susceptible to HPV? Asking for a 52-year-old friend (who thinks he’s Wolverine). — C.F.

Answer: Wolverine has a mutant healing ability (that’s how he was able to survive having his bones replaced with adamantium), so he has nothing to worry about. However, non-mutants do have to worry about HPV, which can come from any kind of skin-to-skin contact with a person who has HPV. 

Having the virus often means having warts, but sometimes people can have contagious HPV without having any visible lesion. It’s been estimated that 90% of people with HPV don’t know they have it.

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