The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection and it’s responsible for a number of negative health effects. In addition to genital warts, it has the potential to cause a number of cancers, including those of the cervix, anus, and throat. A vaccine that can prevent HPV (and, therefore, its associated health problems) has been around for nearly a decade; however, it continues to be widely underutilized in the United States.Read More
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.Read More
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection. In addition to genital warts, it has the potential to cause a wide range of cancers, including cancers of the cervix, anus, and throat. A vaccine that can prevent HPV (and its associated cancers) has been around for nearly a decade; however, it continues to be widely underutilized in the United States.Read More
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.Read More
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection that has the potential to cause a wide range of cancers, including cancers of the cervix, anus, and throat. A vaccine that can prevent HPV (and, consequently, its associated cancers) has been around for nearly a decade; however, it continues to be widely underutilized. For instance, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among teens aged 13-17, just 39.7% of girls and 21.6% of boys had received all three of the recommended doses of this vaccine in 2014. This is far lower than the rate of other recommended immunizations for people in this age group.Read More
My home state of Indiana has been in the news a lot lately, and most of the news coverage has portrayed it in a pretty unflattering light. This is due almost entirely to the actions of our elected officials, who appear to be out of touch with the views of everyday Hoosiers and with the scientific community on matters of sexuality and sexual health. Much has been said and written in recent weeks about passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the concern that its original wording was intended to license discrimination against gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons. This is a prime example of how the State government’s actions are out of step with the public, who overwhelmingly oppose discrimination against sexual minorities. Our elected officials’ disregard for science has not generated quite the same level of national attention as the RFRA law, but it is nonetheless just as concerning. In this article, I would like to take a look at the disconnect between our State government’s actions and the science, and consider its potential impact on the sexual health of Indiana residents.Read More
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.Read More