Public Health Concerns with the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine

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Sexuality is an essential part of being a human being. Passionate emotions such as love, affection and sexual intimacy contribute to our overall well being and our healthy relationships. However, with these positive aspects of human sexuality, there are also several illness and unintended consequences that can severely affect our sexual health. With the incidence rate for the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) on the rise, it is important to address the public health concerns that are associated with disease. Since the creation of the HPV vaccine, public health policies have made HPV a serious women’s health issues due to its increased risk associated with cervical cancer. Despite that fact that numerous amount of literature shows that the HPV vaccine has demonstrated a 90-100% efficacy in preventing cervical cancer, there seems to still be a continual public health concern regarding the moral aspects of the age of administrating the vaccine is related to the lack of public awareness about HPV itself. Background on HPV and HPV Vaccine Development: Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer affecting woman worldwide; with approximately 500,000 new cases, diagnosed annually and around 270,000 deaths are attributed to cervical cancer itself (Descamps et al., 2009, p. 332). Research has actually shown that persistent infection with an oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) type is the necessary step in the pathogenesis of cervical cancer (Descamps et al., 2009, p. 332). There are more than 100 types of HPV viruses and there are 40 anogenital types and approximately 15 have an oncogenic origin (Schiffman & Castle, 2003). The Human papilloma viruses (HPVs) are DNA viruses that infect the skin or mucosa (Fernandez, Allen, Mistry, & Ka... ... middle of paper ... ...i/full/10.1043/1543-2165(2003)127%3C930:HPEAPH%3E2.0.CO;2 Sheris, J., Friedman, A., Wittet, S., Davies, P., Steben, M., & Saraiya, M. (2006). Chapter 25: Education, training, and communication for HPV vaccines . Retrieved from http://rho.org.whsites.net/files/Vaccine_24_S3_ch25.pdf Stanleya, M., Lowy, D. R., & Frazer, L. (2006). Chapter 12: Prophylactic HPV vaccines: Underlying mechanisms. Retrieved from http://www.hu.ufsc.br/projeto_hpv/CAP%2012%20-%20VACINA%20MECANISMO.pdf Thomas, T. L. (2008). The New Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine: Pro and Cons For Pediatric and Adolescent Health. Retrieved from http://www.nursing.emory.edu/_includes/docs/sections/aimhigh/Pediatric_Nursing.pdf Zimmerman, R. K. (2006). Ethical analysis of HPV vaccine policy options. Retrieved from http://www.hu.ufsc.br/projeto_hpv/Ethical%20analysis%20of%20HPV%20vaccine%20policy%20options.pdf
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