Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection that is common in nearly all sexually active men and women in the United States (Centers for Disease and Prevention, 2015). This common STI is a group of more than 150 related viruses with more than 40 HPV types that can infect the genital areas of males and females (CDC, 2015). Often times, infected people may go on for years with no symptoms, thus making it hard for others to know that the infected are in fact infected. When one does have symptomatic HPV, some kinds of HPV may cause genital warts, while others may be more extreme such as cancer of the cervix, vagina, vulva, or anus (CDC, 2015). These problems are caused by types 6, 11, 16 or 18 (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2015). However, some of the negative health effects caused by HPV can be prevented besides abstinence, just using latex condoms, or staying in a mutual monogamous relationship – get vaccinated (CDC, 2015).
About 14 million people become newly infected each year, bringing our total to an estimated 79 million Americans to date (CDC, 2015). In fact, 50% of sexually active persons will get at least one type of HPV in their life (FDA, 2015). The most common health problems related to HPV which include genital warts and cervical cancer claims 371,000 people each year in the United States. That’s roughly 360,000 people who get genital warts and 11,000 women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer (CDC, 2015)!
Anybody can get HPV as long as you are not taking precautions such as abstinence, using condoms, having a mutual monogamous relationship, or simply getting vaccinated. The FDA has approved vaccines that...
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DiClemente, R. J., Salazar, L. F., & Crosby, R. A. (2013). Health Behavior Theory for Public Health: Principles, Foundations, and Applications. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning
D 'Souza, C., Zyngier, S., Robinson, P., Schlotterlein, M., & Sullivan-Mort, G. (2011). Health Belief Model: Evaluating Marketing Promotion in a Public Vaccination Program. Journal Of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, 23(2), 134-157. doi:10.1080/10495142.2011.572668
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2015). HPV (human papillomavirus). Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ByAudience/ForWomen/ucm118530.htm
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