The HPV Vaccine May Soon Be Readily Available To Americans Up To Age 45

The HPV Vaccine May Soon Be Readily Available To Americans Up To Age 45

A few years ago, I decided to get the HPV vaccine. This vaccine didn’t hit the market until I was well into adulthood, so I didn’t have a chance to be vaccinated in my youth like most kids today (about 6 in 10 US parents are currently choosing to have their kids vaccinated against HPV). Unfortunately, I found that it was a ridiculously difficult and expensive process. 

Because the recommended age for the vaccine is only up to 26—and I was older than that—my insurance company wouldn’t cover it and many providers weren’t willing to give it to me, even though I said I would pay out of pocket (long story short: I eventually got it, and you can read all about the experience here). Fortunately, things look like they’re about to get easier (and cheaper) for the over-26 crowd.

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Am I Too Old For The HPV Vaccine?

Am I Too Old For The HPV Vaccine?

In the United States, the FDA currently recommends the HPV vaccine for anyone aged 9-26, regardless of their sex. This vaccine is designed to prevent several different types of cancer—including cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, and anus—as well as genital warts. But let’s say you’re over age 26. Does this necessarily mean that you're too old to get it? This is something a lot of folks—myself included—have wondered.

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Infographic: Recent Trends in STD Rates in the United States

Infographic: Recent Trends in STD Rates in the United States

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a major public health issue in the United States. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are as many as 20 million new infections that occur each year in the U.S. and that we spend upwards of $16 billion annually on health care to treat them. So what's been happening with rates of STDs in recent years? Are they increasing or decreasing? Check out the infographic below for a look at some of the data. To learn more, check out the CDC's full report here (please note that HIV/AIDS is covered separately in its own report here). In addition, visit this page for information on the CDC's current STD screening recommendations.

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Fact Or Fiction: Does The HPV Vaccine Work? (VIDEO)

Fact Or Fiction: Does The HPV Vaccine Work? (VIDEO)

The human papilloma virus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections today, and it is responsible for a wide range of health issues, including genital warts, as well as cancers of the cervix, throat, and anus. In order to combat HPV and its devastating effects, a vaccine (Gardasil) was introduced in 2006 and it is currently approved for use in both men and women. However, ever since Gardasil hit the market, the rumor mill has been in overdrive. People have questioned whether the vaccine is actually effective at preventing HPV, whether it gives young folks a "license to be promiscuous," and whether it causes negative side effects (in fact, former Republican Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann once famously claimed that the vaccine can cause mental retardation). So what's fact and what's fiction when it comes to Gardasil? Check out the video below for a reality check from Dr. Aaron Carroll of Indiana University.

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