Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Testing
What is the Human Papillomavirus? Commonly known as HPV, it is an infection that spreads through sexual contact. There are over one hundred different types of HPV; several types cause genital warts, while other high risk strands can lead to cancer of the cervix, anus, vagina, and penis. Because HPV is often asymptomatic, many people are unaware of their infection status, and thus, their potential for transmitting the virus to a sexual partner. The significance of the Human Papillomavirus is that fifty percent of Americans who are sexually active will contract it within their lives, and at any given point there are twenty million Americans already infected with it (“By the numbers: HPV Vaccine”).…show more content… Cervical cancer has an effect on women not only in a health manner. The emotional cost from HPV is a further burden as it may include fear of cervical cancer, apprehension, and the stigma associated with a sexually transmitted infection. HPV is so common that drug companies long sought to develop a vaccine against it.
In June 2006, Gardasil, a Human Papillomavirus vaccine made by Merck & Co., was licensed for use and brought to the market (“HPV Vaccine”). Gardasil, which is given into a series of three injections, targets the main types of HPV. The types targeted are HPV 6, HPV 11, HPV 16 and HPV 18, which cause ninety percent of the genital warts and are the leading causes of cervical cancer (“Cervical Cancer Symptoms, Causes, Treatments”). Brought to the attention by researchers “combined, those strains affect an estimated 3 million women in the U.S” (“HPV Vaccine”). Since HPV is so common in the United States, the makers of Gardasil are trying to get a law approved that will make the shots mandatory. In 2006,
Upon Gardasil’s release, Merck & Co. launches an intensive lobbying effort to convince state lawmakers to make the vaccine mandatory for girls entering middle school. Approximately two dozen states consider adopting such a law in the first few months after Gardasil’s debut. “Key Events in the History of HPV”
Women are not aware of the