By Tim Kotschwar, PharmD
Alliance Community Pharmacy
What is Human Papillomavirus?
According to the Centers for Disease Control Human Papillomavirus or HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection. There are more than 200 types of HPV and although many types of HPV are harmless, about 40 of them can infect the genital area as well as the mouth and throat and lead to things like cervical cancer, genital warts and oral cancers.
How is HPV transmitted?
People contract HPV through skin to skin contact during intimate relations.
How do I know if I have HPV?
Oftentimes someone can be infected with HPV and never have symptoms or not develop problems until months or years after becoming infected.
Can HPV be cured?
No, HPV cannot be cured once someone is infected but importantly it CAN BE PREVENTED.
How can HPV be prevented?
The risk for HPV can be greatly decreased by getting vaccinated. The HPV vaccine is a safe, 2-or-3 dose vaccine indicated for all boys and girls ages 11 and 12 (before becoming sexually active). It is also recommended as a catch-up vaccination for boys and men through age 21 and girls and women through age 26 if they did not get vaccinated when younger.
Who do I talk to about preventing HPV?
A doctor or primary healthcare provider is the best source of information about HPV. They routinely provide screening for cervical cancer, genital warts and oral cancers. The vaccination for HPV (Gardisil-9) can be given at your doctor’s office or any pharmacy providing immunizations to the public.
For more information visit http://www.alliancecrx.com/
and on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/alliancecommunitypharmacy/