Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Testing
What is the Human Papillomavirus? Commonly known as HPV, it is an infection that spreads through sexual contact. There are over one hundred different types of HPV; several types cause genital warts, while other high risk strands can lead to cancer of the cervix, anus, vagina, and penis. Because HPV is often asymptomatic, many people are unaware of their infection status, and thus, their potential for transmitting the virus to a sexual partner. The significance of the Human Papillomavirus is that fifty percent of Americans who are sexually active will contract it within their lives, and at any given point there are twenty million Americans already infected with it (“By the numbers: HPV Vaccine”). Infection with HPV is a significant public health burden in the United States because of the costs for screening and treatment for cervical abnormalities, as well as costs associated with treating benign genital warts. There is a vaccine known as Gardasil that will prevent strands of HPV. The vaccine, FDA approved, is effective towards different types of HPV. Human Papillomavirus vaccines should be administered to females, who are sexually active, to fight against certain strains of the virus, such as genital warts and most importantly cervical cancer. Genital warts is a skin infection caused by the sexually transmitted disease, the Human Papillomavirus. HPV types associated with genital infections are transmitted sexually, primarily through skin to skin contact during sexual activity. Warts are extremely common. Statistics show that “each year 250,000-500, 000 Americans develop genital warts” (“By the Numbers: HPV”). All are benign. In women, warts occur in or around the vagina, on the cervix or around the anus. In men, genital warts are less common but might occur on the top of the penis. There are currently several different strains of HPV that cause both external and internal warts. In the United States, about 1.4 million people...
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