HPV Infection in Teen Girls Drops

    MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 21:  University of Miami pediatrician, Judith L. Schaechter, M.D., gives an HPV vaccination to a 13-year-old girl in her office at the Miller School of Medicine on September 21, 2011 in Miami, Florida. The vaccine for human papillomavirus, or HPV, is given to prevent a sexually transmitted infection that can cause cancer. Recently the issue of the vaccination came up during the Republican race for president when Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) called the vaccine to prevent cervical cancer "dangerous" and said that it may cause mental retardation, but expert opinion in the medical field contradicts her claim. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, also a presidential contender, has taken heat from some within his party for presiding over a vaccination program in his home state. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

    Joe Raedle/Getty,Joe Raedle

    This is progress. In the last 10 years, the cases of human papillomavirus have dropped by 50 percent in teenage girls. The vaccine debuted in 2006 and combats the HPV virus that exists in 70 percent of cervical-cancer cases. The results surprised experts since vaccinations rates are still pretty low. Another explanation for the decline is herd immunity—in which those vaccinated decrease the chance of the virus proliferating in a society. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States—at least for now.

    Read it at The New York Times