After years of health classes and sex ed, I’m sure we are all understand the dangers of STD’s, STI’s and safe sex, but what if I told you that 80% of Americans will contract the HPV virus in their lifetime, according to ashasexualhealth.org.
A growing trend of HPV has been raising many concerns in America, as well as here on our own campus. HPV or Human Papilloma Virus, is a common STD spread through sexual contact and ashasexualhealth.org says an estimated 79 million people will contract this STD in their lifetime.
According to hpv.com, the issue is that for most cases, HPV doesn’t show any symptoms and is generally harmless. In fact, most people that have it, don’t even know. According to prb.org, untreated cases of HPV can develop more serious health issues.
High-risk types of HPV
With over 100 different types of HPV, this virus is very diverse. According to thehpvtest.com, of the 100 different types, about 14 of those are considered “high-risk” and can evolve into:
- Cervical cancer
- Anal cancer
- Genital warts
- Vulvar cancer
- Vaginal cancer
Unfortunately, HPV has no known cure, but there are precautions we can take to stay clear of this virus. Gardasil9.com says the vaccine Gardasil 9 helps prevent against 9 types of HPV most commonly associated with cancers and diseases. Although the CDC recommends starting the vaccine before possible exposure to the virus, it’s not too late.
The ideal candidate for the Gardasil vaccine are males and females ages 9-45. With the vaccine, you should make sure you schedule your appointments around the specific dosage. For ages 15-26, Gardasil is administered in a 3-dose schedule. After the first shot you will wait 2 months until the second dose and then another 6 months until the third shot.
Precautions to prevent HPV
- Routine cervical cancer screenings
- Use condoms, dental dams
- Get vaccinated with Gardasil 9
- Limit your number of partners
- Build up immunity by having a clean diet, exercising and staying clear of smoking and alcohol
The Gardasil 9 Vaccine, STD screening and regular checkups are available for you at WSU’s Health and Wellness Services! Make an appointment by calling 507.457.5160 or by stopping into the clinic at IWC 222.
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