It is important that we be responsible for our own health and fitness. A fulfilled life is not merely financially comfortable but also has a pronounced sense of wellbeing. And the first step is having adequate awareness. Falling in line with this, every young woman today needs to be aware of HPV.
Gynaecologists recommend early education about HPV. Infact last few years have been witness to the trend of increased number of drives to create awareness about HPV Vaccine. Why is this vaccine crucial? What ailment does it address?
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is now a well-established cause of cervical cancer and there is growing evidence of HPV being a relevant factor in other anogenital cancers (anus, vulva, vagina and penis) as well as head and neck cancers
as stated by ‘Human Papillomavirus and Related Diseases Report ‘ published on 27th June 2017. One of the many risks posed by HPV is cervical cancer and many of us, don’t even know about it. Studies show that the virus affects almost of all us at some point in our life. Thanks to our immune system, it is out of our body in maximum two years. It is more fatal because it poses no symptoms in early stages.
What is HPV?
A most common form of virus, HPV has been identified in about 150 forms, but only 15 types are fatal. HPV 16 and 18 are majorly responsible for genital warts and cancer. Cervical cancer is the most common outcome of this evil. Transferred form skin-to-skin contact, a person after the age of 15 years (on an average) is most exposed to this virus, as he or she becomes sexually active. Both men and women can be affected by HPV. Huffpost.in states, “Cervical cancer, mainly caused by Human Papillomavirus infection, is one of the leading cancers in Indian women. Cervical cancer kills roughly 67,477 Indian women annually.” Human Papillomavirus and Related Diseases Report further adds,
Human Papillomavirus and Related Diseases Report states that about 469.1 million women (15 years or above) are at a risk of cervical cancer. The reported number of cases of cervical cancer are 1,22,844 and deaths because of cervical cancer are 67,477.
Who can get Affected by HPV?
Both guys and girls from age of 11 to 21 and 11 to 26 respectively can take this vaccination. However, the vaccination is approved from the age of 9 onwards. For kids to teen, that is 9-14, two shots are to be taken within a span of 6 to 12 months and for teens to young adults, three shots needs to be taken within a period of 6 months. The younger a person is the better results can be registered because of better immune response. It is said that women who are above 26 years of age might have already been exposed to the virus because of the sexual activeness, which means they are already exposed to the virus. That’s why the purpose of vaccination after the age of 26 gets defeated. Even though the vaccination can be taken up to the age of 45 years.
Why is HPV Vaccination Important for Young Women?
Young girls in their late teens and early 20s are most exposed to the virus the most. The virus might be dormant and if not washed out of the body can pose life threatening diseases like cervical cancer in women and less common forms of cancer like that of the anus, vagina, vulva and oropharynx. At an early age, the immune system is more active and will register better results. As you get older, the chances of vaccination to administer diminishes. Huffpost further adds:
The two HPV vaccines currently available in India are bivalent (Cervarix, Rs 2190 per dose) and quadrivalent (Gardasil, Rs 3000 per dose.) The Nonavalent, which is considered to be the most effective in the West, is extremely expensive and currently not available in India as it is still not approved by Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).
This vaccination is totally safe and has shown no side effects. It does not lead to infertility either, however, pregnant women should not take the vaccination.
If you yourself, or your children, friend, sister, or neighbor has somebody who is in the right age group, please educate them and encourage them to take the vaccination.
Let us take care of our health and fight this evil together.
Image Source: Image 1: science examiner.com Image 2: thedoctorweighsin.com Image 3: Louisacountypublichealth.com