Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes the following diseases:
- “head and neck” cancers [i.e.mouth, nose, throat, larynx, sinus, salivary glands]
- cancer of the cervix, vagina, vulva
- cancer of the penis
- cancer of the anus
- genital warts
These cancers are life-threatening. If not identified early, these malignant cancers will lead to premature death. While genital warts are treatable, their physical appearance is ugly. These growths on the vulva of women, penis or anus of both sexes result in social stigma and discrimination leading to the loss of self-confidence and sexual confidence. This has a negative impact on our intimate, personal and romantic relationships.
The benefit of the HPV vaccine is prevention of pre-cancers and cancer-causing infections. The vaccine is routinely recommended for all adolescents and offered to adults up to age 26 years.
The vaccine schedule is as follows:
- Pre-teens (11-12 years) & Adolescents (13-15 years old): Two (2) injections, twelve (12) months apart
- Teenager (16 years) – Adult (26 years): Three (3) injections at 0, 2 and 6 months