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HPV or the Human Papilloma Virus is an organism that causes sexually transmitted diseases. Known to cause genital warts, cervical and anal cancer, the virus can also lead to oral cancer. HPV is spread during unprotected sexual contact, mainly through the genitals. One of its most distinctive characteristics is that it has the potential to remain latent within a person’s body for a number of years and the symptoms can manifest later. Since HPV was found to cause cervical cancer in women, it has now become a common practice in a number of countries to get them vaccinated at a young age. Made of an attenuated (or weakened) strain of the virus, the HPV vaccine is recommended for all women over the age of 21 and under the age of 30. It helps to prevent infection, but cannot cure pre existing infections or cervical cancer. Doctors therefore recommend that the vaccine be administered before a girl is sexually active.


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