Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most prominent sexually transmitted infections in the United States. Over 100 different strains of HPV can be passed along from partner to partner and while not all of them cause cancer, many still cause genital warts or cervical lesions.
Many strains of HPV are low risk and are not dangerous. These strains are especially common in people under the age of 30.
For the greatest protection against cancers caused by HPV, all girls and boys who are 11 or 12 years old should get the recommended series of HPV vaccine.
If every woman in the world received adequate health care, almost none would die of cervical cancer. Effective treatments exist for pre-cancerous conditions and for cervical cancer that is diagnosed at an early stage.
Did you know that January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month? This year alone, over 12,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with cervical cancer. Over 4,000 women will die as a result of this disease.
By giving Roche, the company that makes the HPV test, the okay to market it to use alone to screen for cervical cancer, the FDA is exposing women to unnecessary health risks and opening the door to a change in medical practice that will abandon evidence-based guidelines and drive up costs. Why would the FDA approve an unsafe use of a test?