EmpowHER provides all the information needed to learn about the HPV virus and how it can affect women, as well as information on the vaccinations available for girls and younger women.
But the vaccination that is very effective in preventing strains of HPV that can cause cervical cancer isn't catching on the way the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would like.
While a little over half of American girls are getting the first dose, the same numbers are not coming back for the crucial second and third doses that complete the vaccine.
While 53 percent are getting the first shot, the CDC reports that only one-third of them are coming back to continue the series of shots. Three shots are required to make the vaccine totally effective.
The HPV virus is highly prevalent in the United States, with more than one in four carrying the virus and 14 million new cases every year. Certain strains of the virus can lead to cervical cancer, as well as oral and head cancers, and penile and anal cancers.
Females over the age of 30 can be screened for the virus via an HPV test. Currently there is no recommended test for males.
The CDC has posted several reasons for girls not getting the vaccination, as reported by their parents:
- 19 percent said the vaccine isn't needed.
- 14 percent said their doctor had not recommended the vaccine to them.
- 13 percent said they had safety concerns about the vaccine.
- 13 percent said they didn't know about either the vaccine or the disease.
- 10 percent said their daughter doesn't need the vaccine because she isn't sexually active.
Looking at these numbers suggest that both doctors and parents need to be more proactive about offering the vaccination.
Former EmpowHER blogger, activist and HPV expert Bonnie Diraimondo, RN (who sadly died as a result of the cancer caused by this virus) wrote extensively about the HPV virus.