HPV Vaccine Not Reaching Enough Girls

2 Latinas stand together against white backgroundThe human papilloma virus, or HPV, is a sexually transmitted disease known for being the cause of cervical cancer among women. In recent years, the HPV vaccine has been in use in three separate doses in teenagers over the age of 13.

This is accessible when visiting doctor’s offices, though it has been recently announced by the Center For Disease Control and Prevention that there hasn’t been enough of an increase of young women receiving the vaccine over the past year. In fact, the full three-shot dosage saw a decline between the years of 2011 and 2012 among 13-17 year old teenagers.

According to doctors, because of the lack of the vaccine, 4,400 women will diagnosed with HPV while 1,400 women will die because of cervical cancer. Currently, approximately 79 million people are infected with HPV and 14 million will become infected every year.

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Among Latina mothers, surveys have shown that they are not opposed to giving their daughters the vaccine nor taking it themselves. The main concern for many is that Latinas are not being informed of the vaccine opportunity by their doctors. The death rate for Latinas from cervical cancer is 50 to 70 percent higher than non-Latinas.

The vaccine is not just for females but males as well and it is preferred that the youth obtain the three-dosed vaccine before they are sexually active and at risk of being exposed to HPV. The vaccine is covered by most insurance plans and is most effective if all three doses are taken.

The vaccine is long-lasting, so it will not have to be administered again. The vaccine does not protect against certain types of cervical cancers, which means that even if young women receive the vaccine they will still have to get regular Pap tests, which test for cancer. The vaccine also does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections, or STIs, so regular checkups are still necessary.