The HPV Vaccine Offers Hope  

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The HPV Vaccine Offers Hope  

Both woman and girls need to protect themselves from a particular cancerous strain of a sexually-transmitted diseases, the human Papillomavirus (HPV), that may silently ravage lives if not aggressively prevented with a vaccine. Fortunately, the disease can be prevented for those who have the preventative vaccine. But What Does the HPV Vaccine Do?

In 1956, scientists first discovered the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV represents a particular strain of virus which causes warts or papillomas. Each virus is given a number, which is called an HPV type. Of the one hundred types of HPV, over sixty cause warts that are on the non-genital skin, referred to as the common wart. The other forty HPV strains are the mucosal, genital types, which do not live on the skin and are divided into high-risk and low-risk types. The common high-risk are HPV 16 and 18.

It is clear that not all vaginal warts will result in cancer to the cervix and in the vagina, in time, they disappear. Globally, cervical cancer is the second most cause of cancer in women. What Does The HPV Vaccine Do?

HPV can be passed from one person to another, with contact with the vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Genital HPV is not the same as HIV or herpes. Cervical cancer is preventable with vaccines and regular screening tests. With certain strains of cancer producing HPV, almost ninety-seven percent of the individuals found the HPV vaccine to be effective.

Three major health regulatory institutions promote a vaccine to treat HPV, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration, (FDA), and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). All three organizations find that it is vital that woman and girls receive the HPV vaccine.

Ninety percent of all people will be infected with HPV at some point in their lives. The HPV vaccine is the only opportunity to prevent cervical cancer.

The CDC recommends that eleven to twelve-year-olds receive two doses of HPV vaccine at least six months apart to protect against cancer- causing HPV infections. Individuals between fifteen through twenty-six need three doses. Children from age nine through fourteen experience the same immune response as young adults that receive three doses.

Three vaccines, approved by the FDA, prevent HPV infection such as Gardasil, Gardasil 9, and Cervarix. The HPV vaccine is very safe, long-lasting, with common side effects of redness, or swelling in the arm, including fever, feeling tired, possible nausea and joint pain.

Cervical Cancer is diagnosed in twelve thousand women annually with four thousand women who die from this disease in the U.S. One percent of sexually active adults in the U.S. will show, at some time, visible genital warts. Girls must receive the HPV vaccine before they can become sexually active. Visit your primary care physician now. If not. Why not?

 

Marie Lentz

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