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Few women receive HPV vaccine, survey finds

Category: General Health

Many females may benefit from cervical cancer testing, as a new survey has found that only about one in three young women ever receive the vaccine for the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection known to lead to the cancer.

The HPV vaccine prevents infections of the cancer-causing STD. The American Cancer Society has recommended that all girls between 14- and 17-years-old get vaccinated, but, according to the survey, only 34 percent of girls are receiving the treatment.

Sandi Pruitt, who led the survey, speculated that lack of health insurance may be the reason why many of the females surveyed had not been vaccinated, and that girls in poorer areas were less likely to receive free treatment.

"For the neediest children, the United States has a publicly funded vaccination system, but each state sets its own guidelines for who is eligible to receive free vaccines," she said. "States with more poverty may not have adequate funding to provide [the vaccine]."

Cervical cancer generally does not present symptoms until it is at a fairly advanced state, which is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that women receive regular cancer tests.
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