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HPV Vaccinations – Are They Worth It?

Photo+from+Choices+Women%27s+Medical+Center
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HPV Vaccinations – Are They Worth It?

Photo from Choices Women's Medical Center

Photo from Choices Women's Medical Center

Photo from Choices Women's Medical Center

Photo from Choices Women's Medical Center

Amanda Mourelatos, Associate Editor in Chief

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The Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV, is the most common sexually transmitted infection, which is spread through sexual contact or from mother to baby. About 14 million people, including teens, become infected with HPV each year.

HPV is not curable, but can be treated; treatments pivot around ridding of the warts, which can show up on various parts of the body. This chronic virus is one that has vaccines available for you, and it is highly suggested that you get one. Why? Simply because this vaccination can potentially prevent you from getting HPV and cancers that go with it. HPV infection can cause cervicalvaginal, and vulvar cancers in women and penile cancer in men. HPV can also cause anal cancercancer of the back of the throat (oropharynx), and genital warts in both men and women.

Photo from Eoin Kelleher on Twitter

It’s recommended to get 2 rounds of the vaccine for 11-12 year old kids, and ages 15 and up should get 3 rounds of shots – one round for every 6 months. For the best protection, that is the way to go. If you have not been vaccinated yet, talk to your doctor or have a guardian do so for you. This vaccine is a key part in avoiding infection and cancers from HPV.

The Vaccines for Children (VFC) program provides vaccines for children ages 18 years and younger. Those who are uninsured, Medicaid-eligible, American Indian or Alaska Native can get help in paying for these vaccinations. Learn more about the VFC program by clicking here.

People who are sexually active and haven’t gotten the vaccine will get HPV sometime in their life without it. As said by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said, “Infections with HPV types that cause most HPV cancers and genital warts have dropped 71 percent among teen girls”. The shot will prevent about 90% (31,200) of possible cancers you can obtain from HPV from even developing. In the long run, getting the vaccine now will be better than getting treated for HPV later in life; so, yes, the vaccination is worth it.

 

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