How much do you know about HPV?
By: Idara Akpan, MPH Student, UNT Health Science Center School of Public Health
HPV means Human Papillomavirus. It is a common virus that affects most people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year 33,700 cases of cancer in men and women are related to the HPV infection.
HPV is mostly transmitted skin to skin, through having vaginal, anal or oral sex with anyone that has the virus.
Keep in mind that HPV infections affect both males and females. These infections can cause penile cancer in men, and vaginal, cervical and vulva cancers in women. Anal cancers can occur in both males and females. Sadly, HPV cancers do not present symptoms at an early stage until they are in the late stage.
The best way to prevent HPV is by getting the HPV vaccines for you and your kids. Yes, kids. Health professionals recommend the HPV vaccines for kids from the age of 9 years. The vaccine can be given in two doses to kids from ages 9 -14 years over a 6- to 12-month period. The HPV vaccine provides protection from cancers caused by HPV. The HPV vaccine is safe and effective!
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (2018) What you need to know about Cervical Cancer. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/index.htm