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Get an HPV vaccine in Travis County

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 by Nina Hernandez

Human papillomavirus affects nearly 300,000 people in Travis County, causing more than 100 cancer cases per year. It costs the county around $26 million per year to treat and prevent the virus and associated diseases. Though it’s commonly associated with cervical cancer, HPV can also cause various throat cancers. A Tuesday press release from the city notes, “Though cervical cancer incidence rates and mortality rates have decreased significantly due to the effectiveness of Pap test screening, disparities in Travis County among racial/ethnic groups persist. The highest incidence rates (2004-2014) of cervical cancer in Travis County are found in Hispanic women, followed by non-Hispanic black women, non-Hispanic Asians/Pacific Islanders women and non-Hispanic white women.” Fortunately, there are ways to prevent the spread of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control has a page on HPV, which now reads: “CDC now recommends 11 to 12 year olds get two doses of HPV vaccine — rather than the previously recommended three doses — to protect against cancers caused by HPV.” Austin Public Health provides aid for children without health insurance.

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