HPV is a common virus among young adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about six million new cases of HPV occur annually. HPV infections that persist can turn into pre-cancer and even cancer. The CDC states that 91 percent of cervical and anal cancers, and 72 percent of mouth and throat cancer are caused from HPV. In Wisconsin, about 2000 cases of cancer were attributed to HPV from 2006 to 2010, according to the Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Control Program.
Currently there are two vaccines available to prevent HPV. Gardasil is approved for both females and males; Ceravix is approved only for females. Patients need to receive three full doses to be completely vaccinated.
In Wisconsin, male and female HPV vaccination rates are less than that for other vaccines. For more information about HPV vaccines, please talk with your primary care provider or pediatrician. Agnesian HealthCare offers free HPV vaccines for females between the ages of 15 and 44 that meet income guidelines. For more information on free HPV vaccines, call Agnesian HealthCare’s Samaritan Health Clinic at (920) 926-4841.