A Sexually Transmitted Agent, Human Papillomavirus ( Hpv )

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A sexually transmitted agent, human papillomavirus (HPV) is the causative agent for genital warts and most invasive forms of cervical cancer and other cancers of the anogenital tract (Trottier & Franco, 2006). In the United States (US), about 80 million people are infected with at least one strain of HPV, resulting to a prevalence rate of 50-80% among sexually active adolescents. This ranks HPV infections among the most commonly diagnosed sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the US (Faridi, Zahra, Khan, & Idrees, 2011; Gerend & Shepherd, 2012). According to (Gerend & Shepherd, 2012)), an estimated 12,000 cases of invasive cervical cancer, and 4,000 resulting deaths occur in the US annually due to low HPV vaccine uptake, thus predisposing sexually active adolescents to HPV infection (Baseman & Koutsky, 2005; Trottier & Franco, 2006). HPV vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective in preventing genital warts, and cancers of the anogenital tract, yet parental consent to vaccinate is still very low. The low vaccination rate can be attributed to vaccine safety concerns, “license” for adolescents to engage in sexual intercourse, lack of knowledge among the US population about HPV as a cause of genital warts and cancer, its mode of transmission, cost, and missed opportunities by HCPs to either recommend or administer the vaccine to adolescents (Dempsey & Zimet, 2008; Faridi et al., 2011). A child’s HCP is consistently cited as the determining factor in parental vaccine

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