The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department will offer low-cost HPV vaccinations Jan. 17-20 as part of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.
T-shirts and Wal-Mart gift cards will be available for women who receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that week. The screenings are part of a special initiative with Cervical Cancer Free Kentucky designed to raise awareness about cervical cancer and the HPV vaccine.
The Public Health Clinic North is open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday; and 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday. To make an appointment for this special promotion, call 288-2446.
The vaccine, Gardasil, is for females ages 9-26 and protects against infection from four strains of HPV that account for 70 percent of cervical cancers and 90 percent of genital warts. About 20 million people in the United States are infected with HPV, and more than 50 percent of all sexually active people have HPV at sometime in their lives.
The vaccine will be free for girls 18 years of age and under and who are covered by Medicaid and $14 for those who are non-insured or under-insured. Private insurance will also be accepted, but patients should call their insurance companies prior to making an appointment to check if the vaccine is covered. For more information about the cost, please call 288-2446.
The vaccine is administered in three injections over six months. Women who begin sexual activity at an early age or who have had many sexual partners face a greater risk, but a woman can be infected with HPV even if she has only had sex with one person. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that girls get the HPV vaccine before their first sexual contact.
About 10,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer each year, and 3,700 die from it. Kentucky has one of the United States’ highest death rates from cervical cancer.
For additional information, find the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/LFCHD.