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Study: Condom Use Protects Women from Cancer-Causing Virus

A new medical study shows that women are less likely to contract a virus that can cause cervical cancer if their male sexual partners use condoms.

Researchers tracked the sexual activity of 82 female college students in the western U.S. state of Washington. Those whose partners always used condoms were 70-percent less likely to become infected with human papilloma virus, or HPV, than women whose partners used condoms less than five percent of the time.

The virus has been linked to cervical cancer, which kills more than 3,000 women in the U.S. each year, and nearly 300,000 women worldwide.

The study, which is published in Thursday's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, comes just days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of a vaccine (Gardasil) against HPV for girls and women ages nine through 26.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.