This is somewhat of a public service announcement for anyone who has not yet had their child vaccinated against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) or those who haven’t heard that you may now be vaccinated up to age 45.
What is HPV?
HPV is the virus that causes genital warts and it is the most common STI (sexually transmitted infection) worldwide. HPV infections are extremely common. In fact, the CDC reports 80% of people will get HPV in their lifetime.
There are over 100 different strains of HPV. Some are low-risk strains, which could lead to benign warts. Others are high-risk strains associated with several different types of cancers.
According to the CDC, 34,800 men and women are diagnosed with HPV every year. HPV is associated with cervical cancer, a major cause of cancer deaths among women worldwide. HPV also causes five other types of cancers in both men and women — oropharyngeal (head & neck), anal, vulvar, vaginal and penile cancers.
There are not yet any screening tests for most HPV cancers, other than cervical cancer (pap smear for women). This means, “these other cancers may not be detected until they cause serious health problems (CDC).”