Health Works LIVING

January 30, 2014
Health Works
Human papillomavirus: What it is, how to prevent it
U.S. Army Public Health Command
The human papillomavirus, or
HPV, is the most common sexuallytransmitted infection in the United
States, with an estimated 79 million
Americans currently infected and 14
million newly-infected persons per
year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are more than 40
types of HPV that can affect the
genitals, mouth and throat and can
lead to genital warts or many types
of cancers, including cervical. HPV
is passed between partners through
skin to skin contact, and nearly all
sexually-active people contract HPV
at some point in their lives.
Many times, the infected person
does not experience any symptoms
of the HPV infection but can continue to transmit the virus to a sexual
partner. Additionally, in up to 90
percent of cases, the virus goes away
on its own within two years, according to the CDC. When the virus
stays, HPV can cause normal cells to
become abnormal, leading to warts
or cancer.
Until recently, the main ways to
prevent HPV infection were condom
use and limiting the number of sex
partners. With the introduction of
the HPV vaccine, a safe, effective
method to prevent infections with
the most common types of HPV that
cause infection and cancer is available. Vaccination is most effective
before people become sexually-active,
so the CDC recommends HPV vaccines for all 11- and 12-year-olds.
Gardisil, a vaccine for males and
females that is active against four
types of HPV, and Cervarix, a vaccine for females only active against
two types of HPV, can be administered up to the age of 26. Both vaccines are administered in a three-shot
series. The vaccine won’t treat an
existing HPV infection.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention courtesy photo
The human papillomavirus is the most common sexually-transmitted infection in
the United States, with an estimated 79 million Americans currently infected and
14 million newly-infected persons per year.
After the introduction of the vaccine in 2007, studies conducted in
Australia and the United States all
identified a decrease in genital warts
as a result of HPV in both males
and females under the age of 25.
Similar decreases among the Army
active-duty component beginning
in 2007 were reported in a recent
Medical Surveillance Monthly
Report. The MSMR reported 163
new cases of HPV per 10,000
JAN. 20
A son, Austin David, to David and Christina Allen, 1st Cav.
JAN. 21
JAN. 17
A daughter, Emmaleigh Grace, to David and Valeria Alvarez, 69th ADA Bde.
JAN. 18
A daughter, Riley Ann, to Caleb and Sarah Schultz, 13th
A son, Jace Alexander, to Cory and Marisa Soules, 1st Cav.
A son, Ricardo Andrés Traverzo-Valentin, to Ricardo
Traverzo and Kiomara Valentin, 1st Cav.
A daughter, Elena Ann, to Hollis and Megan Taylor, 1st
Cav. and 36th Eng. Bde.
JAN. 22
A son, Victor, III, to Victor and Jasmine Farr, II, 13th ESC.
A son, Colten James, to Geoffrey and Shawna Waterman,
3rd Cav. Reg.
A daughter, Serenity Renee Van Den Berg, to Joshua Van
Den Berg and Amber Gunder, 1st Cav.
A son, Kendrick Ieremia, to Robert and Carolyn Maddox,
1st Cav.
A son, Joshua Alexander, to Anthony and Sharon Forstner,
Sr., of Harker Heights.
A son, George Delarosa, Jr., to George and Ayeisha Garza,
1st Cav.
A son, Carsyn Gregory, to Timothy and Sheila Grantham,
1st Cav.
JAN. 19
JAN. 23
A daughter, Jade Jamelah, to Randolph and Beverly Umali,
1st Med. Bde.
A son, Aiden Earl, to Aaron and Ashley Rasdorf, 3rd Cav.
person-years from 2000-2012. Rates
observed among women were twice
as high as those among men. Rates
for both males and females decreased
with age, dropping substantially by
age 25. By comparison, the rate of
chlamydia for the same population
and time period was 148 and for
gonorrhea was 37.
While there is no test to determine
one’s overall HPV status, the Pap test
is used to screen for cervical cancer
in females beginning at the age of
21. In females over the age of 30, an
HPV test can be performed along
with the Pap test. There is no HPV
test available at this time for males,
nor is there a test to identify HPV in
the mouth or throat.
Consult with your primary-care
provider if you have any concerns
about HPV or HPV vaccination, or
to begin the vaccine series.
Editor’s note: Zachary McCormic,
U.S. Army Public Health Command,
contributed to this article.
A daughter, Amiyahzelie Lilliana, to Tiffany Bannerman,
13th ESC.
A son, Lee Charles, to Christopher and Rochelle Burcell,
1st Cav.
A son, Tadasy PJ, to Paulus and Jefflyn Andrew,
89th MP Bde.
JAN. 24
A son, Hunter William Garcia, to William Garcia, to
Brittany Latimer, 1st Cav.
A daughter, Genesis Aubree, to Christopher and Elaine Garcia, 13th ESC.
A son, Eli James, to Lawrence and Nicole Charity, III, 36th
Eng. Bde.
A daughter, Lillian Kaye, to Ashton and Elizabeth Cutts,
1st Cav. Div.
JAN. 25
A son, Leonardo Matias, to Michael and Alma Cedré,
1st Cav.