The HPV Vaccine is Working

HPV or human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. The good news is that in the last decade since the vaccine has been made available, rates of HPV infection in teenage girls had decreased by almost two-thirds.

The federal government recently reported that nearly half of Americans between the ages of 18 and 59 are infected with genital human papillomavirus — some strains of which can cause deadly cancer.

The report by the National Center for Health Statistics, also notes that some high-risk strains infected 25 percent of men and 20 percent of women, and cause about 31,000 cases of cancer each year.  

According to the CDC the vaccine is most effective before people become sexually active, and so it is recommend that girls and boys get vaccinated at age 11 or 12. As of last fall, C.D.C. updated guidelines said that children ages 11 to 14 need only two doses of the vaccine, not the previously recommended three doses and that these doses should be given at least six months apart.

So if you haven't considered protecting your daughter or son from certain strains of cancer caused by HPV, it may be time to do so.

To read more, check out the recent report from the New York Times at