Affinity Health Plan

  • January is Cervical Health Awareness Month

    January 22, 2016
    Did You Know...

    A major cause of cervical cancer is Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a very common sexually transmitted infection. Many people with HPV don’t know they are infected. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 80-90 % of sexually active people will be infected with at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives.

    Different Types:
    • More than 100 types of HPV exist
    • Some types of HPV can cause genital warts
    • Some can cause cancer of the penis, anus and throat
    • And some can increase a woman’s risk of getting Cancer of the Cervix
    How do I get it?

    HPV is passed by sexual contact (even without penetration). It can be present for many years without causing any symptoms. Not all types cause cancer and many can be cleared naturally by the body’s immune system. But getting one type does not protect you from getting other types that CAN cause cancer.

    What can I do?
    • Get Vaccinated – HPV vaccines are recommended for children from age 11 – 12, and up to age 26 for females and ages 21-26 for males (depending on certain factors).
    • Get Pap Test - Women should start getting regular Pap tests at age 21. After age 35, HPV co-testing with the Pap test is recommended.
    A word from Dr. Sharon Deans, Chief Medical Officer at Affinity Health Plan:

    No one has to die from cervical cancer. Talk with your doctor and find out how you can protect yourself and your adolescent children.

    To learn more:

    Cervical Cancer Prevention

    National Cervical Cancer Coalition

    Get Tested for Cervical Cancer

    Get Your Well-Woman Visit Every Year

    HPV Vaccine

    Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Cervical Cancer Coalition.

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