The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Human Papilloma Virus

Posted by iusbvision on October 25, 2006

With October being Breast Cancer Month, pink ribbons are everywhere. Cars, broaches, tied around trees, or even spotted as ink pens in the side pocket of a survivor’s purse. But this is not going to be another recreation of a breast cancer brochure found anywhere on campus.  This is the other sort of cancerous pink ribbons: the human papilloma virus. This is commonly known as HPV.

I am assuming many of you already know about this. If this is a new term for you, I am worried. HPV is a sexually transmitted viral infection that will infect at least 50 percent of men and women in their lives. With over 100 types of HPV how could you not encounter this virus? The virus doesn’t really have any “warning signs” other than genital warts and cell changes of the cervix. The good news is that a mild case of this virus normally clears up on its own, but there are treatments out there for the more severe cases.

Such severe cases are linked to cervical cancer and even infertility. It is estimated that cervical cancer is the number-two deadliest cancer among women in the United States. An annual Pap test will detect the HPV in all stages from the mild genital warts to the severe cancerous cells on the cervix or the lessen-known cancers of the vagina and vulva this infection is associated with.

The best way to avoid this infection is, like any other virus and/or disease, to practice abstinence. The next best thing is to wear a condom when engaging in any sexual practices. Another thing to do about HPV and other icky things out there, is to learn about them more and become aware of not only the pros and cons, but to become aware of how to protect yourself from anything.

For more information about HPV visit http://www.cdc.gov/HPV/  or http://humanpapillomavirus.hpv.com

Stacy Rummel
Writer

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