How Many U.S. Adults Have Human Papillomavirus (HPV)?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) (Mamiverse)

Human papillomavirus (HPV) (Mamiverse)

In answer to the headline, quite a few. In fact, the number might be higher than you think.

The answer: Almost 50% of U.S. adults have human papillomavirus (HPV).

In case you’re blissfully unaware, HPV is “the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI).” The virus is most commonly transmitted during vaginal and anal sex. In worst cases, HPV can morph into genital warts and cause cancer.

A report published by the National Center for Health Statistics revealed that 42%+ of U.S. adults ages 18-59 had genital HPV. Certain strains of the virus affected 25%+ of adult men and 20%+ of adult women. These strains caused 31K cases of cancer per year.

The report also found that 7%+ of U.S. adults had oral HPV, and 4% had HPV strains associated with mouth and throat cancers.

Rates of HPV broke down along demographic lines:

The highest rate, 33.7 percent, was found among non-Hispanic blacks; the lowest, 11.9 percent, among Asians. The prevalence of genital HPV infection was 21.6 percent among whites and 21.7 percent among Hispanics.

The study was the first of its kind to examine HPV in adults.

This study really drives home the need for HPV vaccination. Yet despite a push for getting adolescents vaccinated, the HPV vaccination rate remains stubbornly low: “Only 30-40% of teens who should be getting immunized receive the three-dose shot, and only 10% of men do.”

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California Public Schools Will Now Require Teaching LGBT History

Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, 1987 (The Washington Post)

Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, 1987 (The Washington Post)

California has long been one of the most progressive states in the union, fearlessly blazing a trail where other states dare not tread.

OK, maybe I’m biased because I live here.

But California is about to do something (else) no other state has done: require teaching LGBT history in public schools.

Granted, this isn’t a complete shock. Last year, the state voted to pass a new curriculum for history and social studies where children will learn about LGBT history at various points during K-12 schooling. Topics will range from learning about diverse families in elementary school to historical nuts-and-bolts in high school.

(Side note: A public forum was held in 2015 regarding the new curriculum. While there were disagreements over how some religious groups were portrayed, “no one protested the inclusion of the history of LGBT rights.” Progress!)

This measure comes after the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful Act (FAIR) Education Act was passed in 2012. This act bolstered the inclusion of minority groups (including the LGBT community) in public education on history. The deadline to include this new information in textbooks was this year.

With California leading the way, I hope other states will follow suit in teaching inclusive history to their students.

 

Trends: Celebrities Pregnant with Twins

Steven Yeun Instagram post (Steven Yeun)

Steven Yeun Instagram post (Steven Yeun)

Single births are so 2016. This year, it’s all about the multiples. (Births, duh.)

Seriously, this year has started off with a bang regarding celebrity birth announcements. First up, superstar/icon/QUEEN Beyonce announced that she’s pregnant with twins in an Instagram post that dropped February 1st. Naturally, the world went crazy (and that Instagram post is now the most-liked post ever). Beyonce also released photos from her pregnancy photoshoot, and later performed at the Grammys in a tribute to motherhood. As you do.

Not even two weeks later, it was confirmed that Amal Clooney (you know, George’s wife) is expecting twins. And the twins will be a boy and a girl.

There’s another couple that might be expecting twins. It’s confirmed that “The Walking Dead” actor Steven Yeun and his wife Joana Pak are expecting a child. One of Yeun’s recent Instagram posts was a series of photos of he and his pregnant wife, of which one photo features him holding up two fingers. The photo’s caption is two bee emoji.

So either they’ll also be welcoming twins this year, or Yeun is part of the Beyhive. I don’t know. We’ll find out.

It’s crazy that all these celebrities are having twins right now. No idea if any of them are through IVF and don’t want to speculate, but it’s interesting how all the pregnancies are syncing up.

 

Single Women are the Most Powerful Voting Demographic

A single lady's ring finger (NY Mag The Cut)

A single lady’s ring finger (NY Mag The Cut)

Single women are a force.

Granted, they’ve always been a force to be reckoned with. But now they’re becoming a powerful voting bloc that could decide this election.

This hasn’t gone unnoticed. Author Rebecca Traister’s book All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation focused on this demographic and how its members are shaping and redefining social norms when the book was released earlier this year. One of Traister’s sources, Page Gardner, predicted that “there could be more unmarried women in the electorate this year than married women — and they vote super left.”

Single Women On The Rise (NPR)

Single Women On The Rise (NPR)

This trend gained steam in 2012. Single women comprised 53% of the voting population, and supported President Barack Obama at around 55%. Compare this to men, who supported Obama at around 45%.

And beware, these single ladies are selective with their votes: The results of the American Women Web survey in the Elle March 2016 issue found that 86% of single women, and 84% of overall women, would not vote for a candidate that was anti-women. This wasn’t partisan, since 73% of Republican women agreed with that statement.

Hasbro Reports Sales Boost in Q2 2016 with “Frozen” and Disney Princess Toys

Hasbro's Disney Princess line (Elena's Closet)

Hasbro’s Disney Princess line (Elena’s Closet)

Toymaking giant Hasbro recorded better-than-expected sales in Q3 2016. And they have the Disney Princesses and “Frozen” sisters to thank.

Hasbro won the global rights to make the aforementioned toys from Mattel earlier this year.

The two toy lines helped boost the girls category revenue by 35%, bringing the total to $172M+. The lines also helped partner brand revenue grow by 15% (which was also helped by “Star Wars” toys). And even before the most recent earning report came out, it was estimated that the Disney Princesses line would generate about $60M in Q3 2016.

This demonstrates that girls (and the men and women who buy their toys) have some massive purchasing power. Let’s hope that this is taken into account before “Star Wars: Rogue One” hits theaters, so we actually have some action figures of lady badass Jyn Erso.

 

 

 

Obama Signs Bill That Requires Babies’ Changing Tables in Every Public Bathroom

U.S. President Barack Obama and baby (Winwes)

U.S. President Barack Obama and baby (Winwes)

Earlier this month, President Obama signed a very important bill. The Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation (BABIES) Act requires government and federally-run buildings to provide babies’ changing tables in every restroom on the the premises. That’s right, babies’ changing tables will now be in both women’s and men’s bathrooms.

Previously, there was no such act that mandated changing tables in public bathrooms. And it’s common knowledge that changing tables are a much more common sight in women’s bathrooms than in men’s.

The BABIES Act was proposed in April by Rhode Island Democratic Representative David Cicilline. The measure was co-sponsored by 26 fellow Democrats and one Republican.

It’s fitting that the act was introduced and passed now: The move comes as parental leave, gender equality and division of household labor (which includes childcare) have become top of mind to many people, and a hot topic during this election season.

The new changing tables must be added within the next two years.

The Teen Birth Rate Is Declining

Teenage girls with pregnancy test (Young Adults)

Teenage girls with pregnancy test (Young Adults)

When I was growing up in the ’90s, teenage pregnancy was just a fact. It was depicted in movies and on TV, and you probably knew at least one girl in your school who got pregnant.

But teenage pregnancy now seems so…dated. Times have changed. Having kids young and outside of wedlock isn’t a big deal anymore. And I feel like I’m not seeing teen pregnancies focused on so much anymore (granted, that might be because I’m no longer a teen myself).

There’s a good reason for this: the teen birth rate is decreasing.

According to the U.S Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of Adolescent Health, the teenage birth rate in the U.S. has actually been decreasing for over 20 years. In 1991, there were 61.8 babies born for every 1k teenage girls. In 2014, there were 24.2 babies born for every 1K teenage girls. Quite a drop.

Even the year-over-year drops can be steep. The 2014 number is a 9% drop from 2013, where 26.5 babies were born to every 1K teenage girls. And the 2015 number of 22 babies per every 1K teenage girls is a 8% decrease from 2014.

For a longer-term view of how the teen birth rate has declined from the previous decade, CNN has the scoop:

Since 2007, the year-to-year decline in teen birth rates has been between 7% and 9%…The number of teens becoming moms has dropped by a total of 54% from 2007 to 2015.

That’s huge! We’ll see how small the number of teenage pregnancies eventually gets.