Hpv (Human Papillomavirus)

Topics: Human papillomavirus, Cervical cancer, HPV vaccine Pages: 4 (1159 words) Published: March 3, 2013
Human Papillomavirus
The human papillomavirus (HPV) has been established as a substantial threat to public health among the sexually active youth of America. HPV is a common sexually transmitted disease that primarily affects women. It is also responsible for thousands of cancer related deaths each year. There are about 20 million Americans each year that are currently infected with HPV and nearly 5 million people will become newly infected this year with the virus. There are over 100 different strains of HPV, however only four are primarily responsible for causing substantial health complications such as genital warts and cervical cancer. Nevertheless, recent efforts to eliminate these most dominant strains have proven to be extremely victorious with the development of a unique vaccine that can exhibit an extraordinary level of efficiency. As a result, the pervasiveness of HPV has begun to slowly dwindle, but the virus still continues to violently infect millions of sexually active individuals who still remain unexposed to proper vaccination.

Of the 100 different HPV strains, types 16 and 18 have been proven to cause cervical cancer. Although cervical cancer is able to be prevented, it is the second most common gynecologic cancer worldwide and the third most common cancer amongst women in the United States. In 2008 alone, 11,070 new cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed in the United States, and among these, 3,870 cases were fatal (Linton 235). In order to effectively protect themselves, it is necessary that women frequently obtain regular cervical cancer screenings and Pap tests to detect any precancerous lesions early on and subsequently prevent any instance of invasive cervical cancer from taking a potentially fatal course. Ultimately, the incidence and mortality rates of cervical cancer are much higher among women who do not obtain these regular screenings.

Pap testing is an effective strategy for reducing the risk of invasive cervical...
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