Being that April is STI & STD Awareness Month, it seems necessary to highlight one of the most common sexually transmitted infections, HPV. HPV, also known as the Human Papillomavirus, infects more than 75 million Americans and ranges from symptoms such as warts to more extreme cases such as cancer.
Symptoms of HPV
There are different types of HPV and which can be transmitted by way of intimate skin-to-skin contact. Normally HPV will go away on its own, but in cases where it doesn’t, it can lead to more serious health conditions such as genital warts and cancer. Genital warts will look like a few bumps, or in some cases groups of bumps around the genital area and are typically easy for a healthcare physician to recognize and diagnose.
Some statistics on HPV
- About 43,000 HPV related cancers are diagnosed in the United States each year. More so in women than in men.
- Cervical cancer is the most common among women.
- HPV is generally believed to be responsible for nearly 70% of vaginal and vulvar cancers, and over 90% of anal and cervical cancers.
Why You Should get Vaccinated
It is important to be aware that there are vaccines recommended for young adults that can prevent infection for the particular type of HPV most associated with cancer. Each year, over 33,000 men and women are diagnosed with cancer that is caused by HPV. The HPV vaccination could in fact prevent more than 90% of these cancers from even forming. It is recommended that you begin the vaccination between ages 9-12, and depending on when they receive the shot will determine the amount of shots they will receive. This vaccine is considered a series vaccine, which means that you will be given 2-3 shots spaced months apart.
If you have more questions regarding HPV or want to schedule an appointment to get vaccinated, feel free to call or schedule an appointment with us.