President's Prescription: HPV - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

President's Prescription: HPV

Source: KCBD Video Source: KCBD Video

Human papilloma virus, or HPV, is the most common form of a sexually transmitted disease.

It affects up to one in four people, but it is preventable. And even though most people don't show signs, it is important that you protect yourself against this potentially cancer-causing virus.

More than 40 strains of HPV can be spread through direct sexual contact. Low-risk HPV strains do not cause cancer, but do cause skin warts and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, a disease that causes benign tumors to grow in the air passages leading from the nose and mouth into the lungs.

High-risk HPVs are the main culprit in causing cervical, penile, anal and oropharyngeal cancers. High-risk HPVs also account for five percent of cancers worldwide. While most occur without any symptoms and go away after a few years, it is important to note that the reproductive health of you or your partner may be at stake, so don't take the chance.

While there are many HPV strains that are prevented with the vaccine, it prevents HPV type 16 and 18, which account for seventy percent of all cervical cancer cases. All children, male and female, ages 11 to 12 should be vaccinated for HPV. While this may seem young, it is important to immunize before they are ever exposed to the virus. The vaccine is given in a series of three and it is important that patients complete the series. 

Anyone who has ever been sexually active can get HPV, and because it is so common, most people get HPV infections shortly after becoming sexually active for the first time. A person who has had only one partner can get HPV.

So protect your children by getting them vaccinated before they are ever exposed. Prevent the spread of disease and cut down on cancer. 

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