Tuesday, January 9, 2007

One more thing to be worried about!

HPV is short for human papillomavirus. This is a virus that all sexually active adults will one day contract. It is an STD but because it is a virus, it will, in most cases, just go away with rest and good health. That is the good news that I learned today. Most of us will never even realize we have it.

The bad news (why is there always bad news?) is that some of us will get sick from this. In woman this virus can cause cervix cancer. Of the 120 types of HPV viruses, only 37 of them can cause cancer. The rest of them just cause warts (foot, hands, genital). Men don't have a cervix, hence the warts on the cervix won't lead to cancer of the cervix in men.

More good news (thankfully there is often more good news)! A vacine called Gardasil was approved by the FDA in 2006. Another one called GlaxoSmithKline is expected to be approved this year.

Thus ends my public health message.

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