Washington, Mar 16 : A new research has shown that a person's risk of developing human papillomavirus (HPV), a common Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) and a necessary agent of cervical cancer, is increased if the sufferer also has Chlamydia.
HPV is an infectious disease of the skin and inner membranes and is considered one of the most common STDs in the world.
The study led by Jeff Korte, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), followed HPV infections in 68 women with existing STDs to examine how it was affected by genital infections over a two-year period.
It was found that HPV infections lasted longer if Chlamydia also was present.
"HPV persistence is one of the most important risk factors for cervical cancer. If an HPV infection persists longer, it is more likely to be accompanied by a serious lesion and progress to cancer," said Korte.
The disease can be prevented through vaccination, which protects against the four HPV types.
It is known that most HPV-positive people contract the disease within a few years of sexual activity, and thus there is a push to vaccinate young adolescents. Current vaccines have been approved for women ages nine to 26, but targeted to girls 11 to 13.
Although, the HPV vaccine is a socially controversial issue, the spread of HPV is a major public health concern.
Thus, researchers in the current study aim to determine perceptions about the HPV vaccine and identify both facilitators and barriers among specific demographics.
"The HPV vaccine will change how we screen for cervical cancer in the United States. The vaccines give us the capability to virtually eradicate a common cancer-causing virus that claims the lives of more than 250,000 women around the world every year," said Sharon Bond, study investigator and certified nurse midwife at MUSC.