HPV vaccine available for women ages 11-26
UK HealthCare is now offering the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to help prevent cervical cancer. HPV is a very common virus that most people are exposed to at some time in their lives. It is spread through sexual contact and usually goes away on its own. There are many types of HPV. Some types may lead to cancer of the cervix (mouth of the womb). HPV is also associated with a few other types of cancers and genital warts. About 10,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer every year and about 3,700 women die from it. Kentucky has the second highest cervical cancer death rate in the nation.
A vaccine for four major types of HPV is now available. Two of the HPV types cause 70 percent of cervical cancer and the other two types cause 90 percent of genital warts. We expect that this vaccine will be protective for several years. However, women who are vaccinated still need to be screened for cervical cancer using cervical cytology (Pap tests). The vaccine prevents infections against four HPV types, but does not help treat infections or precancerous diseases that are already present.
The vaccine is recommended routinely for girls age 11-12 and is given as a series of three injections over six months. Girls age 13-18 should also get vaccinated if they haven't already received the whole series. The vaccine is also approved for women ages 19-26. Women should discuss with their health care provider whether the vaccine will benefit them. The vaccine is most effective if given before onset of sexual activity and is not approved for women over age 26, pregnant women or men. It can be given with other vaccines.
To make an appointment, call 859-257-1000 or toll free 1-800-333-8874.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases