The Human Papilloma Virus or better known as HPV is the most common sexually transmitted virus. Over 79 million Americans are infected with HPV and more than 6 million new infections occur in the United States each year.
74 percent of newly infected individuals are 24 years of age and OR younger.
HPV is a group of more than 100 related viruses and gets its name from the papillomas (known as warts), that some of the strains can cause.
There are over 40 HPV strains that can infect the genital areas of both males and females.
There are 13 strains that are considered to be “high risk” strains because they can cause dysplasia which is pre cancer, while others are “low risk strains” which can cause warts or nothing at all.
HPV is transmitted through intimate skin to skin contact.
You can get HPV by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who is infected with the virus.
The 13 high risk strains that can lead to cancer can cause cervical, vaginal, vulvar, anal, and penial, esophageal, and oral cancers.
Strain 16 and 18 are the most common cause of cervical dysplasia and cancer, and strains 6 and 11 the most common cause of genital warts.
There is a screening for women and statistics show that 80 percent of women will be infected with HPV by the time they are 50 years old.
Forth-five percent will test positive under the age of 24.
Most sexually active men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives.
Many people will never experience symptoms and the virus will go away on its own, but those with lower immune systems have a greater chance of developing symptoms.
There are one million cases of genital warts each year in the United States.
There are one million new cases of cervical dysplasia each year in the United States.
Over 12,000 of the cervical dysplasia will develop into cervical cancer.
Over 4,000 women will die from it each year.
Approximately 800 women will die from vaginal cancer each year.
Approximately 700 women will die from from vulvar cancer each year.
Approximately 900 (men and women combined) will die from anal cancer each year.
Approximately 200 men will die from penile cancer each year.
Over 8,000 will die from oral and esophageal cancers each year. This number is also combined with cancers due from smoking and other factors.
In June of 2006, the FDA approved Gardasil, the first generation vaccine for the prevention of cervical cancer, abnormal and precancerous cervical lesions, abnormal and precancerous vaginal and vulvar lesions and genital warts.
In December 2014, Gardisil 9 was released and is effective on strains 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58. These strains are associated with 90 percent of cervical cancer, vulvar, vaginal, anal, penile, and throat cancers.
Gardasil is recommended for use in males and female’s ages 9-26 years ideally before the onset of sexual activity.
More than 60 million doses have been given and no deaths have been reported despite postings on social media.
Gardasil is given as three injections over a six-month period; the first dose is given at an initial time selected by the vaccine recipient and their healthcare provider, followed by another dose 2 months later, and the third and last dose, six months after the first dose.
Gardasil 9 does not eliminate the necessity for women to continue to undergo recommended cervical screenings.
Recipients of Gardasil 9 should not discontinue anal cancer screenings if it has been recommended by a health care provider.
Gardasil 9 has not been demonstrated to provide protection against disease from vaccine HPV types to which a person has previously been exposed to through sexual activity.
Gardasil has not been demonstrated to protect against diseases due to HPV types other than strains 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58.
Gardasil is not a treatment for external genital lesions; cervical, vulvar, vaginal and anal.
Not all vulvar, vaginal and anal cancers are caused by HPV and Gardasil 9 protects only those cancers caused by HPV, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58.
It is 96.7 percent effective against cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancer. It is 98.6 percent effective against mild dysplasia, and 96.3 percent effective against moderate to severe dysplasia.
Anyone who is allergic to yeast or to any component of the vaccine should not receive Gardasil, so please always check with you doctor before receiving any vaccine.
Common side effects can include: pain, swelling, itching, bruising, and redness at the injection site. Headache. Fever. Nausea. Dizziness. Vomiting. Fainting.
Tell your healthcare provider if any of these symptoms occur, because these can be allergic reactions. Difficulty breathing. Wheezing. Hives. Rash.
For a more complete list of side effects, ask your doctor or healthcare professional.