The other day on one of my Fox News segments I discussed a report that states that a staggering 50% of men may be carriers of human papillomavirus, better known as HPV. There has been a lot of effort over the past couple of years to educate women about this disease. This is mostly due to the fact that having the disease is a major contributing factor to the development of cervical cancer. It’s not a topic that is discussed much with men however, but doctors are trying to change that.
The disease itself is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD), in part because most people are not aware that they even have it. It typically has no visual symptoms and doesn’t cause the infected person any pain or discomfort. The problem with HPV in men is that, unlike women who receive pap smears every other year, there really aren’t any good screening methods. When you combine the lack of symptoms, lack of screening methods, and lack of education about the disease it ends up spreading very easily.
There are vaccines to prevent the types of the virus that cause 70% of cervical cancers. They’re well tested, safe, are 90% effective, and offered at a low cost. The drawback to the vaccine is that it really needs to be administered before a person becomes sexually active and is exposed to the virus for it to have its full effect. For any parents who may be reading this, there really is a great benefit to vaccinating your children against HPV despite any of the controversy you may hear. I personally believe that it should be included in a child’s standard round of vaccinations when they’re young. Like the other vaccinations we give children, this is about the long term benefit of saving lives. Prevention and education are always the best treatments.Blog