The bad news is that neck and throat cancers are rising, and this common sexually transmitted infection seems to be the cause. The good news: The vaccines that are available to prevent infection seem to protect against these kinds of cancers as well.
Though only half of teen girls have gotten one dose of the vaccine and fewer than a third have gotten the recommended three doses, new research has found that the proportion of teen girls infected with the strains of HPV that the vaccine addresses has dropped by 56 percent.
This week, Michael Douglas backtracked on his assertion that HPV caused his cancer, parents in China said they want sex education, a study showed Australian kids in same-sex families are doing well, and Durex’s new social media campaign backfired.
Though Douglas’ announcement may have over-emphasized the dangers of oral sex, it will hopefully get more people talking about HPV and the HPV vaccine.
In poor countries, cervical cancer is often the most common cancer-related death among women, or even the leading cause of death for women, period.
This week, the Illinois senate took up a bill requiring that sex education be medically accurate, West Virginia took on teen sexting, and a new study suggested we may need to change our HPV messages if we want more women to get the vaccine.
The North Carolina legislature would rather see teens face unplanned pregnancies, untreated STIs, and chemical dependency issues than allow them to receive any form of health care without a parent’s approval.
It takes the work of many to ensure everyone has access to health care.
When our clients are vulnerable and coping with the range of emotions that accompany news of their infection, DIS offer confidence, understanding, trust, and assurance. They are the humanity of STD awareness.
As STD clinics, I believe we should take President Obama’s words to heart when we consider our leadership role in STD prevention: “We are the change we have been waiting for.”