It’s important that you know what the HPV vaccine is all about, and that you know the recommended HPV vaccine schedule so you can protect your kids as soon as possible.
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a common virus spread through direct sexual contact that can lead to cancer in certain cases. And no, HPV does not only affect girls; in fact, both males and females are at risk of developing and spreading HPV. The scary news is that HPV is very common, and spreading quickly. The promising news is there is a vaccine that can protect the people you love from developing HPV and the cancer it may cause.
When it Comes to HPV, the Numbers Don’t Lie
According to the National Cancer Institute, there are more than 40 types of HPV and they can all be spread through direct sexual contact, whether that is through skin-to-skin contact or through sexual intercourse. And while not all of those 40 strains of HPV lead to cancer, many of them do if the HPV is left untreated.
The CDC states that “about 79 million Americans are currently infected with HPV” and because it is so common, most sexually active adults will get HPV at some point in their lives. Look around the room; you or someone standing next to you has probably had HPV at one time or another. And with 14 million people becoming newly infected every year, there is a pretty high chance that your child could get HPV.
So what are you supposed to do? Yes, teaching your kids about safe sex is important, but HPV is unique in that someone could have this virus with virtually no symptoms and no clue that they are spreading a virus. So while it’s important to be safe and cautious, it’s even more important to be preventative before you are at risk.
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