Dr. Rachel: What you need to know about HPV

NEW ORLEANS - January is cervical health awareness month. We bright in our teaching doctor, Dr. Rachel Reitan, to give you some much needed health information. Let's jump right in!

According to Dr. Rachel, "There is excellent screening with the pap smear, and a vaccine to help prevent infections with human papillomavirus, or HPV. HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer."

This means that cervical cancer is preventable!

HPV is responsible for more than 70% of cervical cancers, including vaginal, vulvar, anal,penile, and oral cancers.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection. It differs from HIV and herpes because your body can clear the HPV infection.

The HPV vaccine protects against nine strains of the virus that can lead to so many cancers.

The vaccine is recommended for boys and girls starting at the age of 11, but it can be given as early as 9-years-old.

The vaccine is also available for all men and women up to the age of 45.

If you have any medical questions, you can email Dr. Rachel at drrachel@wgno.com.

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