On January 1, 2012, it officially became legal for a child who is 12 years old or older to get the HPV vaccine without parental consent. And while all the buzz right now is for young girls to get the vaccine, did you know that the American Academy of Pediatrics is now recommending boys get the shot as well?
What is HPV
The Human papillomavirus, better known as HPV is one of the most commonly spread sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. There are over 150 different strands of HPV.
One out of every two sexually active people will most likely contract the virus in their lifetime.
How is it Contacted?
Out of the 150 strands, 40 of them can be transmitted sexually. Any form of genital contact can spread the disease.
Why Should Boys also get the Shot?
While most cases of HPV will go away on their own after a few years, it does have the potential to cause cervical cancer in women. And new studies are showing that it can also cause oropharyngeal that can be found in men and women. Oropharyngeal cancer is a cancer located in the throat.
Getting the HPV shot can also lower the risk for anal cancer which can also occur in men and women.
If you’ve never the HPV shot, and are worried about being a carrier, find a STD testing lab in your area. An STD lab will be able to screen you specifically for HPV.
If you are currently sexually active, be on the safe side and get tested. Not only does testing give you piece of mind, but it will be beneficial to your sexual partners. Getting screened for HPV might just save your life.