Press Release, "City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito's HPV Diagnosis Demonstrates Importance of Screenings and Vaccinations"
For Immediate Release
August 19, 2014
Contact: Carrie Mumah at [email protected] or 404-310-0302
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito's HPV Diagnosis Demonstrates Importance of Screenings and Vaccinations
New York, NY - New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito's announcement that she was diagnosed with a high-risk type of human papillomavirus (HPV) demonstrates the importance of screenings and vaccinations in preventing this sexually transmitted infection (STI).
"Planned Parenthood of New York City hopes that Speaker Mark-Viverito gets the best possible test results. We also hope that her openness about HPV encourages residents citywide to seek information and preventive care to protect themselves from this infection," said Ila Dayananda, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Planned Parenthood of New York City.
HPV is one of the most common STIs. In fact, most sexually active adults will get HPV at some point in their lifetime. This infection often goes away on its own, but if it doesn’t, it can lead to more serious diseases. HPV is associated with more than 20,000 cancer cases in women each year, including nearly all cases of cervical cancer. For men, HPV is associated with more than 12,000 cases of cancer, including throat cancer.
HPV is particularly dangerous for black women and Latinas—these groups have the highest rates of cervical cancer and are more likely to die from this preventable disease than many other groups. According to the National Cancer Institute, this disparity appears to be caused by a lack of screening and barriers to accessing health care.
“Routine Pap tests and the HPV vaccination are screening and preventive measures that will go a long way in reducing cervical cancer. However, unless we reduce barriers to health care, particularly the high cost of care, women will not be able to protect themselves from cervical cancer and other largely preventable diseases. That is why at PPNYC, we offer high-quality, affordable health care—including Pap and STI testing and vaccination—for everyone, regardless of race, immigration status or ability to pay,” Dayananda continued.
Today, only one out of every 1,000 women who contracts cancer-related HPV will develop full-blown cervical cancer. This is largely because many women have regular Pap tests and receive treatment.The HPV vaccine can also protect women against two of the HPV types that cause 70 percent of all cases of cervical cancer. Public health officials recommend that all girls and women ages 9 to 26 get the HPV vaccine. Boys and men ages 9 to 26 can get the vaccine to prevent the spread of HPV to women.
Pat tests and vaccines are important, but they’re not the only defense against HPV. As the leading provider of reproductive and sexual health care, PPNYC encourages our patients to protect themselves by using condoms and having open and honest communication with their sexual partners.
Since 1916, Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) has been an advocate for and provider of reproductive health services and education for New Yorkers. Serving nearly 50,000 clients annually, PPNYC’s health care centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island offer reproductive health services, including gynecological care, contraception, pregnancy testing, abortion, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and HIV testing and counseling. Through a threefold mission of clinical services, education, and advocacy, PPNYC brings better health and more fulfilling lives to each new generation of New Yorkers. As a voice for reproductive freedom, PPNYC supports legislation and policies to ensure that all New Yorkers—and, in fact, people around the world—will have access to the full range of reproductive health care services and information.
August 19, 2014