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STD vaccinations in teens slow HPV spread

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Officials at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended that girls as young as 9 years old should be vaccinated against certain STDs.

CDC researchers have said that 30 strains of the Human Papillomavirus, which is known to commonly cause cervical cancer, can be transmitted sexually, according to a report by KMSU news. In 2006, the FDA approved the use of Gardasil, a vaccine against certain types of HPV, for young girls.

Kendra Williams, administrator of community health and epidemiology explained to the news source that Gardasil "protect[s] against the spread of 70 percent of HPV types which cause cervical cancer, and 90 percent of those which cause genital warts."

Though the vaccine is preventative, and therefore not useful to women who have already been exposed to HPV, Williams hopes that by reaching girls in "the 9-year-old range" the vaccine will take effect before the girls begin to experience sexual activity.

The vaccine costs about $135 per dose, which is covered by Medicaid and most private insurance policies.

According to the Gardasil website, HPV vaccinations have been recommended by the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicans, and the American College of Obsetricians and Gynecologists.

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