The Human Papillomavirus (HPV), if unrecognized and untreated, can lead to cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in women, and it is responsible for taking the lives of 240,000 women worldwide. In the United States alone, 10 women die of cervical cancer every day.
Certain low-risk types of HPV cause genital warts and can lead to abnormal Pap test results. There are about 1 million cases of genital warts in the United States and 32 million worldwide which are caused by some type of HPV strain. By age fifty, 80% of women will have acquired the HPV.
HPV Vaccine Now Recommended for Men and Women, Boys and Girls
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is selected by the Secretary of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide advice and guidance to the Secretary, the Assistant Secretary for Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the control of vaccine-preventable diseases. The ACIP has recommended that all women ages 11-26 and all men 11 -21 receive the HPV vaccine to reduce the incidence of genital warts, HPV infections, cervical cancer and HPV-related throat and neck cancers.
Here are some U.S. statistics to consider:
- There are new data suggesting that there is a link between HPV and heart disease in women.
- 80% of women will have an HPV infection in their lifetime.
- Only 49% of women have had at least one of the three recommended doses of the HPV vaccine.
- Less than 30% of them had received the entire 3-shot series.
- 8,500 HPV-positive head and neck cancer cases in 2010 alone.
- Hispanic women had the highest incidence rate for cervical cancer. African American women had the second highest rate of getting cervical cancer, followed by Caucasian, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Asian/Pacific Islander women.
- Persistent infections with high-risk HPV’s are the primary cause of cervical cancer.
- 2010 Cervical Cancer cases: 12,710
- 2010 Cervical Cancer Deaths: 4,290
- HPV infections also cause some cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, and oropharynx.
The HPV vaccine is a three-shot series and it is available at all Passport Health locations.
So, if you are asking yourself, “What travel shots and vaccinations do I need?” or “Where do I get the HPV Vaccine?” call 888-499-PASS (7277) or find the Passport Health travel medicine clinic nearest you.
You can also learn more about diseases and vaccines that may impact your trip.