POSTED: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 - 6:54pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 - 7:04pm
Tyler, TX — HPV known as Human Papillomavirus is more common than you think.
It's a virus that affects men, women and even teens and is transmitted through sexual activity.
Reports say more than $20 million Americans have HPV.
"The HPV is very very common and that they are putting themselves at risk for very serious disease and illnesses and possible infertility in their adulthood, find it early but prevention is an imperative key," says Dr. Hope Short, Short Family Medical Group in Tyler.
Dr. Short tells KETK, prevention and detection needs to taken seriously.
Many women are aware of HPV vaccinations but fewer are being vaccinated.
Reports say, HPV rates are on the rise.
When KETK asked Dr. Short why fewer people are getting vaccinations she tells KETK,
"Poor choices and lack of education."
The FDA approved two HPV vaccinations, Gardasil and Cervarix to prevent HPV related cancers, such as cervical cancer, in the genital area and cancer in the back of the throat.
Experts say, there are more than 30 types of HPV.
In most cases of HPV there are no signs and symptoms.
An annual 'Pap Smear' test is used to detect the virus. It's an exam which helps detect abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix before they have the chance to become cancer.
"The leading cause if cervical cancer is caused from the Papillomavirus which the immunization helps prevent," says Kim Reeves, Family Nurse Practitioner.
Reports say, HPV is now widely recognized as responsible for more than 95% of cervical cancers in women.