The HPV Virus has always been a concern, but since the vaccine was introduced, recent studies have shown that there has been a decrease with infection rates from ages 14 and to 30, which is great news!
It has been reported by CNN that: “Among girls 14 to 19 years old, rates of infection with the four types of HPV included in the 4vHPV vaccine decreased from 11.5% to 4.3%. There was also a drop, although smaller, in women 20 to 24 years old, from 18.5% to 12.1%. Among the older groups, women ages 25 to 29 and 30 to 34, the prevalence of these HPV types did not change and was about 12% and 9%, respectively.”
The Hot Zone had the opportunity of interviewing Nina Radcliff, MD who has an outstanding reputation as a medical physician. She is also a dedicated communicator to her patients as well as audiences nationwide, appearing on popular television shows such as Dr. Oz. Nina Radcliff is also devoted in helping people live healthier lives and gain wise understandings about health and wellness concerns facing our nation, today. So Dr. Radcliff was more than willing to give us her insight on this newly released study.
JR: The Study that came out states that the HPV vaccine can reduce infection of the strains of the HPV Virus that are dangerous and can cause cancer. Can you give us your insight?
NR: Certain strains of HPV can cause cancer–cervical, oral, or anal. And it is a slow process that can take 10-20 years. The vaccine is relatively new, so we have not had enough time to measure its effects on cancer rates. However, this study is important because it gives us a preview–a sneak peak–of what may be down the road. A decreased rate of the dangerous HPV strains will in all likelihood mean a drop in cancer rates. This is great news!
JR: When the vaccine was introduced there was some skepticism as to whether it would work or not given the lack of sufficient studies. Did you have the same sentiment or were you confident about the vaccine to begin with?
NR: Many parents feel that vaccinating their children against HPV is somehow condoning sexual activity, especially when the recommendation is that you start vaccinating at age 11. This is an understandable misconception. And that is why it is important for parents to continue educating themselves about it–to read, talk to their children’s pediatricians and other trusted sources. The recommendations were made because HPV vaccine decreases cancer. For example, there are approximately 26,000 new cases of cancer from HPV in the US every year. The new 9vHPV vaccine has the potential to seriously make a dent in this. Again, we are fighting cancer.
JR: The HPV Vaccine is not just for females, but for males within the same age group. Are men actually keen on having the vaccine?
NR: New recommendations are that boys should also be vaccinated. Yes, they do not have cervixes, but HPV can cause oral and anal cancer in males. And we have been seeing an increase in oropharyngeal cancers. Michael Douglas, a legend, was public about his battle with oral cancer and that it was caused by HPV. The recommendations for males to be vaccinated is an opportunity to fight this. And, too, this can decrease the transmission to females.
This is great news that infections have been on the decline since the HPV vaccination for young people and adults. It is important that everyone monitor their health closely and that parents discuss safe sex with their children to avoid having to deal with this virus. We recommend all young people, girls and boys to get this vaccination to protect against this dangerous HPV virus that cause various forms of cancer.