Today I received my third and final shot of Gardasil, the HPV vaccine.
A few weeks shy of my 23rd birthday, I am part of the first generation of women to receive this vaccine.
I have to be honest: as far as shots go, it's pretty vile. It hurt more than my tattoos did (of course, to be fair, the tattoos took much, much longer). However, (probably) being protected from four strains of HPV- the four that cause the majority of cervical cancer and genital warts- is worth it.
Today the Centers for Disease Control released a study concluding that approximately one in four women between the ages of 14 and 19 living in America are infected with at least one sexually transmitted infection, such as HPV (human papillomavirus), genital herpes, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis. The study also determined that the rate of infection was higher in African-American women than Caucasian women.