HPV & Vaccine Information
HPV (Human Papillomavirus) is a common virus that affects men and women. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 out of 4 of all 15 to 24 year olds in the country are infected with HPV. 1 out of 4! Anyone who has any kind of sexual activity involving genital contact could get HPV – that means you don't need to have sexual intercourse to transmit it. And many of the people infected with HPV may not even show symptoms thus making it easier to transmit without even knowing you have it.
There are over 100 types of HPV. Some strains are known to cause Genital Warts. Others are known to cause abnormal cells in a woman's cervix. If gone untreated, these abnormal cells can develop into Cervical Cancer. Most women are diagnosed with Human Papillomavirus because of an abnormal Pap test. A Pap smear is a routine test performed during a women's annual gynecological check up, which detects cervical cells which are abnormal before they have a chance to become cancerous. Routine check ups are so important for this reason. If caught early enough, HPV can be treated successfully.
Recently, a vaccine has been developed that targets the strains of HPV that cause Cervical Cancer, it is called Gardasil. The Health and Counseling Center offers it to DU students. It is administered in three (3) doses. After the first dose, another is given at one month and the final at six months. To learn more about this vaccine, schedule an appointment with a health care professional. We are happy to provide you with any additional information.
Unfortunately, the Student Health Insurance Plan does not cover the cost of this vaccine.