HPV and Cervical Cancer
HPV is genital human papilloma virus, and it is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). There are more than 40 HPV types that can infect males and females. Most people who become infected with HPV don’t even know they have it. The most deadly types can lead to cervical cancer, the third leading cause of cancer deaths among women worldwide. An effective and safe vaccine exists to protect against many strains of HPV. The FDA has approved this vaccine and the CDC has included it in its list of recommended vaccines for girls. That’s why access to the HPV vaccine is important in helping prevent cancer.
Unfortunately, politicians have decided to politicize this issue by spreading misleading information about the HPV vaccine.
The facts are:
- The HPV vaccine is safe, FDA approved, saves lives, and prevents cervical cancer.
- About six million people in the U.S. are infected with HPV each year. In some cases, HPV can develop into warts or cancer in both women and men.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has included it in its list of recommended vaccines that girls aged 11 to 12 years receive the HPV vaccination.
- In 2009, Planned Parenthood health centers provided nearly 50,000 HPV vaccinations.
It is irresponsible for candidates and elected officials not to stand up for facts and medical science. By not providing accurate information, candidates are discouraging girls and young women from getting this lifesaving vaccine, and thus putting them at risk for cervical cancer.
Many of these same politicians are advocating cutting family planning funding. Cutting funding for family planning also means cutting funding for cervical cancer screenings.
Watch what your elected officials are saying and see where they stand on the important issue of supporting HPV education and cervical cancer prevention.
CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Genital HPV Infection – Fact Sheet. [Online]. http://www.cdc.gov/std/HPV/STDFact-HPV.htm.