Team Maureen, a community non-profit organization dedicated to education and prevention of cervical cancer and human papillomavirus (HPV), has produced a video promoting awareness of the vaccine to prevent the infection.
The video is embedded at the bottom of this article.
The video, sponsored by Cape Cod Healthcare through its Community Benefits program and the CCHC Cancer Committee, depicts how prevention through vaccination can help people avoid the long-term and potentially deadly effects of HPV infection.
About 80 million Americans are infected with HPV, making it the most common sexually transmitted infections in the U.S., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An estimated 80 percent of sexually active men and women will have HPV in their lifetimes.
In women, up to 96 percent of cervical cancers are caused by HPV, but it’s not just women for whom this virus can be dangerous. Cancers of the penis in men, and the mouth, throat and soft palate in both men and women have been linked to HPV, and 93 percent of cancer of the anus is linked to the virus, as well. These cancers can show up many years after the original infection.
The HPV vaccine, which is given during your teens, has cut HPV infections among teenage girls by 64 percent in the 10 years that the HPV vaccine has been available, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite this positive news, less than 50 percent of teens are being immunized. Nationwide, four in every 10 girls and six of every 10 boys are unvaccinated against HPV, according to Team Maureen.
Highlighting the stories of three Cape residents, the new video shows the devastating effects HPV can have on people’s lives and strives to bring awareness to the importance of the vaccine. To watch the video and learn more about HPV and Team Maureen, please visit http://www.teammaureen.org/.