Human Papillomavirus Virus, The HPV Vaccine and You
The HPV Vaccine was introduced to the public in September of 2008. At this time, most females between the ages of 12 – 13 were scheduled to receive the vaccination and it remains the recommendation today. Because the vaccination is so new, many women are undecided about whether to vaccinate themselves and/or their daughters. Let’s take a look at some of facts about the Human Papillomavirus and the data on the HPV vaccine:
– There are approximately 100 types of HPV; about 40 infect the genital tract.
– HPV16 and HPV18 carry the highest risk of developing cervical cancer.
– HPV16 is responsible for at least 50% of cervical cancers in Europe.
– Genital HPV is transmitted through sexual contact, and can be passed from mother to infant during birth.
– The use of condoms during intercourse reduces, however does not prevent the risk of transmission.
– In clinical trials, the vaccine showed to be …”99% effective at preventing pre-cancerous lesions associated with HPV types 16 or 18 in young women.”
– Health care providers maintain the recommendation that practicing safe sex is the first step in reducing your risk of HPV infection, however not second to seeing your health care provider for your yearly (pap) smear.
Women are still advised to attend their Cervical Screening even if they have been vaccinated against HPV, partly because the vaccine does not cover all types of HPV and long term data on the effectiveness of the vaccine is not yet available. The fact remains that Cervical Cancer is the second most common type of cancer in the United Kingdom responsible for over 1,000 deaths per year, many of which could have been prevented with proper care and screening.
To read more about the NHS National Cervical Cancer Screening Programme click HERE
To read more about the Human Papillovirus click HERE
To read more about HPV Vaccinations click HERE
A touching and eye-opening story of a Cervical Cancer survivor: “I fought Cervical Cancer before I was 30”