Editorial: Student Health Services joins battle against HPV

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Student Health Services provides HPV vaccine to students (File Photo/The Daily Campus)

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the country. Young Americans (ages 15-24) are most likely to contract the STD due to the fact that they are often sexually active and frequently proceed without the use of protection. Unfortunately, though, condoms are not entirely effective at preventing the transmission of HPV because the virus is transferred by skin-to-skin contact.

Many carriers of the virus do not exhibit symptoms. But, for the less fortunate, HPV afflicts its victims with warts on various parts of the anatomy, ranging from the feet (plantar warts) to the face and neck. While the majority of infections do not result in cancer, some cases of genital HPV infections have been known to cause cervical cancer, as well as cancers of the anus, penis, vagina, vulva, and throat.

There is no cure for HPV.

Approximately 80 percent of sexually-active Americans will contract HPV at some point during their lifetime. UConn students don’t have to be part of that statistic.

UConn students will now have the opportunity to receive the HPV vaccine on Mondays and Tuesdays. The vaccination process consists of three shots administered over a six month period. Students can call (860) 486-2719 to schedule an appointment at Student Health Services.

UConn Student Health Services will submit a claim directly to the student’s insurance carrier, provided that the student is insured with Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, CIGNA, ConnectiCare, HealthNet, Tricare or UnitedHealthcare. However, coverage is not guaranteed. In this event, HPV vaccinations can cost an estimated $130 to $190 each, which is approximately $390 to $500 for the trifecta. While the cost for uninsured students is relatively steep, the benefits associated with not having genital warts are fairly worthwhile.

According to collegestats.org, the University of Connecticut has among the most sexually-active student populaces in the nation, ranking 17. Students are at risk. While the vaccination is not mandatory for students, it is certainly advisable.

Go make the call.


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