5 things parents need to know about HPV | Health & Wellness – California News

5 things parents need to know about HPV | Health & Wellness – California News

(BPT) – Being a parent means looking out for your kids. When they were small it meant making sure they wore a helmet, crossed the street carefully and wore sunscreen. As they get older, the health challenges they face change. As they become adolescents, you can’t always be with them, so you warn against things like the dangers of alcohol and drugs and sharing too much on social media. But what about human papillomavirus (HPV) — a virus that can cause certain cancers and diseases? Learning about health risks your children may be exposed to as adolescents or young adults that can affect them later in life is the first step toward helping to protect them.

You may have heard about HPV, but you may not be aware of the impact it may have. As your children become adolescents it’s more important than ever to be their health advocate and learn about potential future health concerns, including HPV.

Here are five HPV facts for parents:

1. HPV is more common than you may think. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 79 million Americans are currently infected with HPV, and there are approximately 14 million new HPV infections in the United States each year. Half of these infections occur in people ages 15-24. For most, HPV clears on its own. But for others who don’t clear certain types, HPV can cause significant consequences in both males and females.

2. When HPV does not clear, it can cause certain pre-cancers, cancers and other diseases. These can develop very slowly and may not even be diagnosed until…

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