Free Evaluating The Prevalence Of Human Papillomavirus In DC Area Research Paper Example

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Viruses, Vaccination, Cancer, Disease, Education, Health, Infection, People

Pages: 7

Words: 1925

Published: 2021/02/02

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the common viruses in the family of viruses that causes skin infections. The family of a virus commonly affects various mucous membranes of the body. These various are more than 100 in number. There are types of virus that cause warts in the genital area. There are others that might cause abdominal cells on the anus, cervix, vulva, penis, mouth the throat and at times lead to cancer. HPV is a common infection and according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention CDC, a large number of sexually active American women and men will at least contract one strain of the virus in their lifetime. The CDC has once mentioned that this is one of the most commonly transmitted diseases in the United States. Research has shown that HPV is one of the leading causes of cervical cancers. HPV is an extremely serious infection in the USA. Approximations show that 79 million American are infected with the virus. Of these infections, 14 million get infected every year.
HPV is quite common among the young adolescent women and young men. Nevertheless, the infection is quite common in young women. The HPV is a double-stranded no enveloped DNA virus in the papilloma viridae family. The HPV is an epitheliotropic resulting in infection and the replication of the basal epithelial cells. Of the 100 different types of the virus 30 to 40 of them are known to infect the genital tract. These viruses are categorized as a low risk or high risk depending on their prevalence to cause cervical cancer. Today there are about 20 high-risk types of the HPV(Bartholomew, 2004).
According to the (CDC) HPV, is one of the most commonly transmitted infections in the U.S. An estimated 20milion people are infected daily in the US today. Of this population, 6.2 million of sexually active men get infected every day. About 75% of these infections often occur to women that are aged between 15 and 24 years. The prevalence of this infection to women aged below 25 years is between 28 and 46%(CDC). The effects of this disease are not only felt in the health sector, but there is also a significant effect on the economy. It is estimated that 2.9 billion shillings are spent on medical services for HPV infections in the DC area alone.


As earlier mentioned HPV is a group of about 100 related viruses. About 40 of this virus are spread through a direct conduct with an infected skin. This can happen during sexual intercourse oral, anal or virginal sex. Some recent research has shown that 42.5% of women suffer from genital HPV infections. A mere 7% suffer from oral HPV infections.There are approximately 40 distinct types of HPV that can infect the genital tract. Estimates show that 90% percent of the infections are asymptomatic and can resolve after about 2 years. However when such infections persist some can result in benign diseases and types of cancer. Many of the HPV produces warts on the fingers, hands, and even the face('Human papillomavirus infection', 2004). This makes many people take these infections lightly and just treat it using cosmetics. There are also some types that cause painful plantar warts on the foot. However, most of the HPV usually confine primarily on the moist skin on the genitals. Most of such infections result to genital warts and thus taking the risk to cervical cancer. There are 13 HPV types referred to as the human carcinogens, but among these only types 16 and 18 account for 70% of the cervical cancer. On the other hand, there are those types of HPV that are non-carcinogens and of these types 6 and 11 cause about 90% of genital warts. These types of infections commonly appear after two months or at times years. HPV are now recognized as the major causes of cervical cancer. HPV may play a role in cancer of the virginal, vulva, anus and some oropharynx infections ('Human papillomavirus infection', 2004).
There are possibilities that one might have contacted an HPV before the age of 50 but will never realize. Such cases are common because most of the HPV clear up after some time. The fact that one has HPV does not necessarily mean that one has the disease. It is common to have people that have the HPV virus but will never experience any signs or symptoms. Nevertheless, there are types of the low-risk HPV that can cause warts that can appear after a week or a month of sexual contact with an infected person. There are rare cases when the virus can persist and develop to cause cancer. Such often happens to the people that are infected with high-risk types. For women, the easy way to detect if one has any abnormalities is to use the Pap test. There is also a possibility of one taking a test that can tested high-risk HPV strains in the DNA. This test is not often used because it is not included in the STI tests. The test is only used in special circumstances especially when a woman shows abnormal Pap results. Most of the HPV infections can go unnoticed and even despair after some time. Most of the symptoms are so minimal and in the exception of warts, one might not realize that they have HPV (Remafedi, 2005).
The following tables will show the prevalence of the various type of cancer that is caused by HPV. This includes anal cancer, oropharyngeal cancers, penile cancer, virginal cancer and vulvar cancer.

HPV-Associated Cervical Cancer Rates by State

HPV-Associated Anal Cancer Rates by State
HPV-Associated Oropharyngeal Cancer Rates by State
HPV-Associated Vaginal Cancer Rates by State
HPV-Associated Vulvar Cancer Rates by State
Averagely in the Washington DC area the rate of people infected with HPV-related cancer is about 5 per 100000 people.
There has been ongoing surveillance and reporting on the prevalence of HPV in the DC area. The current surveillance is aimed at collecting analyzing, interpreting and disseminating information about HPV. The purpose of such information is to help agencies plan better, implement, evaluate and even control the prevalence of HPV in the DC area. The current HPV surveillance system uses a reported case registry method. The most important data sources include laboratory reports, morbidity reports, patient interviews and other information provided by health officials. This system is the most important tool that agencies use to estimate the burden of the disease, detect trends, acquire and allocate resources, stimulate epidemiological research.
The major objective of the surveillance system is to provide surveillance report that supports public health efforts to deal with the spread of HPV. The reports provide a framework for;
Problem detection; the surveillance can help to identify the emergence of HPV and the changes that exist in the endemic disease. Some of the virus strains that might have never been considered to be a risk to the population are now identified and measures taken tackle them.
Problem definition is one of the purposes of surveillance reporting. After detecting the problem, the information provided by surveillance is used to define the exact problem and how it has spread. Through the surveillance, the CDC had been able to identify various types of the virus and how they have kept on affecting the population. Apart from problem definition the surveillance reports play an important role in evaluating the measures that have been taken. There are various types of surveillance systems that are in US in the DC area today. Among the most commonly used is the case based, prevalence monitoring and the population-based surveillance (Weinstock, Berman & Cates, 2004).
Apart from the surveillance there is always need for case reporting. In case reporting, there is always the need to identify an incidence. An incidence is simply the number of newly identified case of a disease at a specific period. Case reporting is the process of reporting the cases of notifiable HPVs by laboratories, providers, and local health service providers. Ideally this is the most efficient way of gathering information about the prevalence of HPV. The most important aspect of case reporting is the provider-based case reporting. It is evident that the DC area has had a good policy of provider-based case reporting. All the local health care providers and physicians are expected to report any case of HPV whenever they identify one. There are various measures that have been set in place that makes sure they have identified the demographic information and make sure that the data is transmitted in a confidential way. The DC health department has strived to make sure that they foster communication between HPV prevention methods and staff and health care providers.
The HPV virus commonly affects both female and males. At one point in time, it might have one type of the HPV infection. Up to 80 percent of both males and females are prevalent to get infected. The virus is easily transmitted through skin infection, and thus anyone that get in conduct with a person that is infected is at a high risk of getting the infection. Most of the infections are sexually transmitted. The infection can be transmitted even without sexual intercourse. The fact that the people suffering from HPV might not show any signs makes it even risky. This is because these people can keep on infecting others without their knowledge. It is also possible for a person to be infected with more than one sting of the virus. Estimates show that most people get infected with HPV within their first years of their becoming sexually active. In some people, the infections can be mild and might not have any adverse effects on one's life. This is to mean that people can still lead a normal life even when they are infected with HPV. This reduces the social problems such as stigmatization that comes about with sexually transmitted disease. Most people that have STD face stigmatization and rejection in the society an issue that ideally makes their life hard. But the case of stigmatization for people infected with HPV is quite minimal. Nevertheless, there are other types of HPV that have adverse effects on one's life. Such types of HPV result to diseases in the genital areas. In women, the common disease includes cervical cancer and some virginal, anal vulva cancers(Moyer, 2005). The most common problem in men includes anal and genital warts. It is important for people to realize that HPV is not something the people need to be ashamed of. It is important for the infected to understand that this is simply a part of one being sexually active.
The financial implications of HPV can be understood well if one looks at the cost of treating the various cancer infections that arise from HPV infections. A recent study in the US shows that 66% of the cervical cancer cases, 79% of anal cancer, 55% of virginal cancer, and 62% of oropharyngeal cancer are attributed to type 16 and 18 of HPV. Every year there are new cases of cancer in the United States. Of this case, 26000 cases are associated with the HPV (CDC). In the DC area, there is quite a notable difference in the number of infection depending on the race/ethnicity. It is estimated that the rates of infection are higher among the Hispanic, Black, American Indian/ Alaskan women. The cost of treating this infection is quite a heavy burden to the Washington government. Every year the government spends millions of shillings in taxpayer’s revenue to treat HPV cancer-related infections. In the year, 2010 estimates showed that 8 billion US dollars were spent on the treatment of HPV-related cancer. Of this 6.6 was for routine cervical cancer screening, 0.3 for Oropharyngeal cancer, 0.2 billion for genital warts.
As mentioned earlier most of the HPV infections may go unnoticed and disappear after sometimes. This makes it quite hard for many to take a step of screening thus they might suffer from the infections for a very long time and keep on infecting others. Nevertheless, there are cancer screenings that can show if one is infected with HPV. Most common test that test the presence of the human papillomavirus is the Pap test and the HPV test. The Pap test or Pap is used to look for presence cell changes on the cervix. The HPV test looks for the HPV virus in the cells. It is recommended that all women aged better 21 and 65 to undergo the test. It is important that women have a regular Pap test once they turn 21. These tests will make sure that any instance of HPV is recognized at an early age. Nevertheless, there are other cancers that are not seen using the Pap screening. Ideally the Pap test will only test cervical cancer.
It is quite important for one to take regular Pat test. The government has various regulations that guide the use of the Pap screening. The guidelines define the time to start the screening, the methods to be used in the screening, the time to stop the screening among other guidelines. The government’s guidelines on taking the tests require that one should start the test once they have attained the age of 21. The government also requires that one takes a screening at least every year. From the ages of 21t to 65 it is recommended that one takes a test at least once in three years. Ideally there are a number of guidelines that the government provides for one to undergo screening.
After understanding the challenges and the intricacies around the HPV virus, there is need to develop a way to deal with them once am done with my study. I ideally seek to help the society understand the intricacies that are involved in HPV. From the understanding that the Hispanic and Black population are at a higher prevalence of HPV, I intend to develop awareness among this community on the effects of this infection. My pivot point is to make sure that I get the people to take screening and Pap tests. One of the reasons these people are at a higher prevalence of infections is simply because they rarely take tests. I thus believe that the first thing to is to create awareness on the importance of screening. After people have understood the need for screening, it will be easy to ask them to go for vaccination.
In a nutshell, HPV is quite prevalent in the DC area. The most affected communities are the Blacks and the Hispanics. Many fail to realize that they are infected, and most will leave with the infection for quite a number of years without seeking treatment. The fact that some strains of the infection do not have any signs or symptoms makes it quite hard for people to realize that they are infected. This is what increases the cases of infections in the Dc area. Notably, that HPV has both financial and social effects on the country and the people themselves. Though most of the virus types do not have any serious effects on one’s body, there are some that have adverse effects and thus result in various types of cancer. Treating this type of cancer cost the government quite a lot of money. It is necessary that people to follow the guidelines prescribed by the government to deal with this infection. Getting people aware of the prevalence of this infection is the first step to reducing infections.


Bartholomew, D. (2004). Human papillomavirus infection in adolescents: a rational approach. Adolescent Medicine Clinics, 15(3), 569-595.
CDC. Quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR 2007; 56 (No. RR-2).
CDC. FDA licensure of bivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV2, Cervarix) for use in females and updated HPV vaccination recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR 2010; 59:626–9.
CDC. Recommendations on the use of quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine in males—Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2011. MMWR 2011; 60:1705–8.
Human papillomavirus infection. (2004). American Journal Of Transplantation, 4, 95-100.
Moyer, V. (2005). HPV-Associated Pap Smear Changes Usually Regress in Young Women. AAP Grand Rounds, 13(2), 16-17.
Remafedi, G. (2005). Survival Trends in Adolescents with Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection. Archives Of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 149(10), 1093.
Weinstock, H., Berman, S., & Cates, W. (2004). Sexually Transmitted Diseases Among American Youth: Incidence and Prevalence Estimates, 2000. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 36(1), 6-10.

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