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The most common STD in America that’s flying under the radar, the one no one is talking about – and the vaccine that may alleviate it for good

You may have heard of HPV but did you know that most people who have sex get HPV at some point in their lives?! How are more people not talking about this?! It sounds unreal, I know. Even more alarming, the human papillomavirus (HPV) causes the most cases of cervical cancer BUT there is a vaccine that can keep you from getting it.

Here’s five things you need to know:

#1

Both men and women who have sex get HPV at some point in their lives. Genital HPV infections are very, very common. HPV is so frequent in fact, it was coined “the most common STD.” Most people with HPV have no symptoms and feel totally fine, so they usually don’t even know they’re infected.

#2

Genital HPV infections can infect areas such as your vulva, vagina, cervix, rectum, anus, penis, and scrotum – as well as your mouth and throat. These kinds of HPV are typically spread during sexual contact, however, there are forms of HPV that can lead to cervical cancer. This type of cancer results from what’s called high-risk HPV.

#3

Though the only way to guarantee you don’t get infected by the virus is steering clear from sexual contact altogether, there are ways to make it less likely to get infected when you are sexually active. Always keep your rubbers handy because condoms are a great way of lowering your chances of getting HPV! But of course, the most common way to prevent this virus is by getting the infamous HPV vaccine. I know you’ve seen the commercials on this. It’s literally EVERYWHERE.

#4

So here is the 411. The HPV vaccine helps protect you against certain types of HPV that can lead to cancer or genital warts. The HPV vaccine is given in a series of 3 separate shots. The second shot is given 2 months after the first, and the third shot is given 4 months after the second shot. So, in all, it takes about 6 months to get all 3 of your shots.

#5

There was a recent study conducted by the HPV Vaccination Impact Group and published in The Lancet. Researchers analyzed dozens of studies that included 66 million females and males. In their findings, it was shown that countries where the vaccine had been distributed for more than five years, the rates of HPV infection decreased by 83 percent among teenage girls and 66 percent amount young women! Crazy right? This vaccine has the power to help so many all around the world.

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Birds. Bees. Bodies.

a Sexual Health Education and Reproductive Health Blog

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