- HPV causes almost all cervical cancers—95 percent—and it is the most common sexually transmitted infection. The lifetime risk for HPV infection is almost 80 percent for sexually active adults; 14- to 24-year-olds have a 34 percent infection rate.
- Cervical cancer caused 4,070 US deaths in 2009. This potential killer usually affects women between 30 and 55. African-American women are 50 percent more likely to die from cervical cancer than women in other ethnic groups.
- Condoms are only slightly effective in preventing infection.
- Two vaccines can protect against some types of HPV.
- A Pap test is the best way to detect HPV early.Women should start the screenings no later than 21 and continue every other year until 30. Between 30 and 70, women should get annual Pap tests. If a woman over 70 has three consecutive negative screenings, she no longer needs them unless she remains sexually active.
Arm yourself against getting or spreading HPV with free webinar hosted by the Katz Institute of Women’s Health next Wednesday, May 8, at 7 p.m. Register today to reserve your spot.