Genital warts: no one wants to think about them. The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) that causes them though, is the most common cause of cervical cancer.
It can all start out with some simple bumps and in rare cases, it escalates from there.
Thankfully, most people remain safe even if they contract the warts from a sexual partner. In addition, science has developed a vaccine to fight against HPV and so the chances of developing cancer from the virus are now much lower.
But questions remain. Back in 2006 the first inoculation to guard against HPV, called Gardasil, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Since this time, youth between the ages of 9 and 26 years old have been given the vaccine but until recently, researchers still weren’t sure just how effective it was, and whether giving it to children as young as 9 was too early.
Would these patients have to be vaccinated again at some point, as their immunity wore off with time?
A new study published in the journal Pediatrics has shown this isn’t the case.
“The vaccine was virtually 100 percent effective in preventing disease in these young individuals,” says Dr. Daron G. Ferris, professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Medical College of Georgia and at the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University.
The study was the longest follow up to date on the vaccine and showed that just one jab is enough to provide protection for a lifetime.
Half of all sexually transmitted diseases occur in people age 15-24, and while experts say that almost two-thirds of those who become infected with HPV can eventually rid their system of the virus, for some it can hang on.
When it does, HPV can cause health problems down the line, including both cancerous and non-cancerous growths in the cervix and respiratory tract of patients.
According to the CDC, HPV is so common that almost all sexually active men and women contract the virus at some point in life. Talk to you doctor to determine if getting the vaccine is right for you.
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