Human papillomavirus, better known by its abbreviation HPV, is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that often manifests itself as warts on the genitals or the surrounding skin.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, an estimated just over 79 million Americans are currently infected with HPV, with 14 million people being infected each year.
HPV is easily transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, making it the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States
According to the non-profit HPV Cancers Alliance, it is widely believed that 45% of men and 40% of women between the ages of 18 and 59 are infected with HPV.
But while more than 80% of sexually active people will be infected with HPV at some point in their lives, many of those people never know they have it. You can be infected with HPV without developing symptoms, but still infect others.
Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for HPV, with treatment usually centering around removing genital warts that are sometimes caused by the virus.
One of the most worrying problems with HPV is that the virus is known to cause multiple cancers. And while most HPV cases do not result in cancer, it is estimated that there are approximately 45,300 HPV-associated cancer cases in the US each year.
That’s still a large number – that’s why the HPV Cancers Alliance and actress Marcia Cross are hosting a virtual town hall on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 with US representatives Kathy Castor (FL) and Dr. Kim Schrier (WA) to tell people about the “Law to Prevent HPV Cancer”.
The HPV virus, related cancers, and this prevention bill are important public and personal health issues that we should all know more about.
Types of cancer caused by HPV. caused
You will not get cancer immediately after contracting HPV. It can actually take decades to live with HPV to develop into something like cancer, but it can and does happen.
According to the CDC, “HPV is responsible for more than 90% of anal and cervical cancers, around 70% of vaginal and vulvar cancers, and more than 60% of penile cancers”.
There are six types of cancer that can be caused by HPV: Cervical cancer, anal cancer, head and neck cancer, penile cancer, vaginal cancer and vulvar cancer.
How to Prevent HPV and HPV Cancer
You can learn more about HPV prevention at the Town Hall Meeting on October 5 at 3 p.m. EST, which will be broadcast live on both Facebook and YouTube.
In the meantime, here are the basic ways to prevent HPV and HPV-related cancers.
1. Get the HPV vaccine.
The HPV vaccine Gardasil protects you from the types of HPV that cause most cancers. Not only does it protect you from the HPV infection, but it can also protect you from most genital warts in general.
The CDC encourages all children ages 11 to 12 to receive this vaccine, and it is also recommended for anyone between the ages of 9 and 26. The vaccine is only recommended for people between the ages of 27 and 45 if their doctor believes it is the right decision for them.
2. Use condoms.
HPV is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. Therefore, using a condom significantly reduces your risk of HPV. This applies to any sexual act and not just to sexual intercourse with the penis.
HPV can be present on areas of the skin that condoms don’t cover, so this method won’t completely protect you from contracting the virus. However, it remains an effective method of HPV prevention.
3. Boost your immune system.
By following a healthy lifestyle, you should strengthen your immune system. Your immune system is at the forefront when it comes to fighting off infection. The stronger your immune system, the better off you are.
To do this, you can eat healthily, exercise regularly, do not smoke and do not drink too much.
4. Get regular exams.
Getting screened for cervical cancer precursors is a great way to spot them early. With early detection, there is a higher remission rate.
Margot Watson, MD, an OB / GYN with Johns Hopkins Medicine, makes the following recommendation.
“A Pap smear is used to screen women for cervical cancer. Years ago women had a Pap smear every year they visit, but today Pap smears have improved and we know it takes many years to develop cervical cancer Age 21. Between 21 and 29 years old, women with normal Pap Swabbing only once every three years. Women aged 30 and over should be tested for human papillomavirus (HPV) with their Pap smear. “
To learn more about HPV cancer prevention, I urge you to attend the HPV Cancers Alliance town hall meeting this Tuesday at 3:00 p.m.
The panelists, consisting of Dr. Anna Giuliano, Dr. Abraham Aragones, Dr. Marcelo Araujo and Dr. Judith Smith, will discuss key issues that the Preventive HPV Cancer Act aims to address. These include barriers to HPV vaccination, infection rates, immunity and recurrent HPV, HPV-associated cancers, and the virus’ impact on underserved communities in the United States.
“We believe it is incredibly important that the public take the time to learn about one of the most common viruses on the market, the types of cancer it causes and how this bill is supposed to deal with it,” said Lillian Kreppel, Executive Director of HPV Cancers Alliance.
You can attend the event on Facebook Live at @hpvallianceorg or on YouTube at www.hpvalliance.org/YT.
Register in advance at HPVAalliance.org.
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Deauna Nunes is an assistant editor covering pop culture, love and relationships, lifestyle, and news and entertainment for YourTango. It was published by the Emerson College literary journal Generic. Follow her up Twitter and Instagram