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HPV Vaccine—When is the Time Right?

HPV Vaccine—When is the Time Right?

Local Gynecologist Offers Important Health Information

For women, the most important step one can take to prevent cervical and other related sexually transmitted cancers is to have the HPV vaccine, notes to Dr. Sudeepthi Prasad, a Washington Township Medical Foundation gynecologist.

“HPV (human papillomavirus) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in women, and the majority of cervical cancers are caused by HPV,” Dr. Prasad explains. The vaccine is highly effective for preventing cervical cancer as well as reducing the incidence of other cancers caused by HPV. These include cancers of the vagina, vulva, anus and some head and neck cancers.

Dr. Prasad will present “HPV Vaccine: When and Why?” at a virtual Washington Hospital Health & Wellness seminar on Tuesday, June 6. At the online 12 p.m. seminar, Dr. Prasad will discuss the HPV virus, how the vaccine protects against most HPV infections, why it is important to have the vaccine, and what the best age is to receive it.

The HPV vaccine is one of the few vaccines that prevents cancer. Dr. Prasad notes, “The vaccine protects against cervical cancers caused by high-risk strains of HPV. All those eligible for the vaccine should make sure they are protected.”

Currently, HPV vaccines are recommended for girls and boys, starting at age 9, and are mostly administered by a pediatrician for those between the ages of 9 - 12. The vaccine can be administered until age 45. “Anyone under the age of 45 should make sure to be vaccinated for HPV,” Dr. Prasad says. If you are above the age of 45, she recommends talking with a gynecologist to determine if the vaccine is appropriate for you. “It’s one of the most important preventative steps you can take to protect yourself from cervical cancer.”

HPV is found in up to 80 percent of the sexually active general population, Dr. Prasad emphasizes that. “It is one of the most prevalent sexually transmittable viruses and everyone may have had it at some point if you have been sexually active.” According to the Cleveland Clinic, up to 14 million individuals become infected with HPV every year.

For vaccinated individuals under 30, most HPV infections clear up on their own because of healthy immune systems. Beginning at age 30, women should make sure they are tested regularly for HPV by their gynecologist as part of their regular preventive gynecology exam. While HPV is not routinely tested in men, the virus can cause cancers of the penis, anus, head and neck as well as genital warts in men.

The HPV vaccine seminar can be viewed live on Facebook and YouTube. For Facebook, sign in to your account and then go to YouTube does not require an account. Simply go to

To learn more about Dr. Prasad, visit

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