The Importance of HPV Vaccination: Safeguarding the Health of Girls and Women

The Importance of HPV Vaccination: Safeguarding the Health of Girls and Women

Human papilloma virus is the most common sexually transmitted infection that you probably never heard about.

Almost all sexually active adults have at one point or another been infected with HPV. Thankfully for most people, HPV infection is self limiting. Meaning your immune system is able to deal with it, just as it would handle common cold virus.

In a few people, however, HPV can cause a chronic infection which could lead to the development of cancer. The most common cancer caused by HPV infection is cervical cancer in women. There are over 600,000 new cervical cancer cases annually and over 200,000 deaths globally making it the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths among women. Up to 98% of women with cervical cancer have HPV infection.

HPV vaccination stands as one of the most significant advancements in preventive medicine, particularly for girls and women. Currently, HPV vaccines protect against either two, four, or nine subtypes of HPV

HPV vaccination significantly reduces the risk of cervical cancer and other HPV cancers by targeting the high-risk strains responsible for the majority of cases. All available HPV. Vaccines target type 16 and 18, the two subtypes responsible for the most cases of cancer. By immunizing girls before they become sexually active, the vaccine provides protection long before exposure to the virus, offering a crucial defense against cervical cancer development later in life.

Vaccinating girls against HPV not only protects them individually but also contributes to herd immunity, benefiting the broader community.

When a significant portion of the population is vaccinated, the spread of HPV is inhibited, leading to a decreased prevalence of the virus and its associated diseases.

HPV vaccination is most effective when administered before the onset of sexual activity.

It is recommended that girls are vaccinated between the ages of 9 and 14. This ensures that they receive optimal protection before potential exposure to HPV, maximizing the vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing infection and related
health issues.

Vaccinating your daughter especially against HPV infection is one of the smartest decisions you can make for your child.

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Written by
Kelvin Owusu, MD
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Kelvin Owusu, MD

Dr. Kelvin Owusu is a Health and Wellness Consultant who, through a holistic approach, helps individuals and groups craft innovative health plans aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles.

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