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January is Cervical Health Awareness Month.  As such, this posted in dedicated to information on cervical cancer and HPV.

Approximately 12,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year, resulting in 4,000 deaths.  The most common cause of it is the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a common infection among sexually active adults.  However, cervical cancer is easily prevented.  Vaccines are available that block the types of HPV associated with cervical diseases as well as Pap tests, which can detect any abnormalities.  The video below helps you learn a bit more about beloved Pap smears.

The National Center for Transgender Equality reminds everyone that cervical health is a critical issue for transgender men and genderqueer/ gender nonconforming folks.  Due to discrimination from insurance plans and health care providers, trans men often avoid seeking or cannot access preventative care, such as pap smears.  As such, those not receiving this care are at a greater risk of developing cervical cancer.  For ways to prevent cervical cancer among trans men and genderqueer people, please check out NCTE’s post.

Fortunately, the latest guidelines on pap smears say most women do not need annual exams and can get one every three years.  To learn more about prevention, causes and treatment of HPV, check out Besider’s Provider Perspectives.  Ready for a pap?  You can find free/ low cost cervical cancer testing sites.