Infectious Disease of Public Health Importance
Infectious Disease should be given due consideration and importance since it has the capability to threaten the health of a large number of people. Public health is the one responsible in studying and managing the probable threats in the health of people in a community. Officials who are involved in public health should make sure that the masses are well informed about possible infectious diseases that might detrimentally affect their well being. Being the case, the funds that are allotted for this purpose should be maximize in order for the people to be aware of how to properly address such infectious disease. One way of information dissemination is through a health education video that would be very interesting for the people in the community to learn about infectious diseases.
An infectious disease that needs the attention of the general public is HPV. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). Both men and women who ever have skin-to-skin and genital contact with a person with HPV could get this virus. Creating a video about HPV is a sound decision because of the common occurrence of this virus. This is proven by the fact that almost 50% of all people who engage in sexual activities would acquire HPV once in their lifetime. Furthermore, HPV is not a new virus as it already exists for the longest time but there are still many people who are still not aware of it. This is the primary reason why greater awareness for this infectious disease should be done.
The target population for this health video would be teenagers as well as men and women in their twenties. These are the age brackets that the video would focus on since it is during these times that people are more sexually active. Teenagers who usually engaged in unprotected sex should also be given due attention since they are more susceptible in getting HPV. Moreover, the ideal environment for presenting this educational video is in high schools, colleges, and universities. A seminar program should be implemented in these educational institutions in order to make their students aware of the sexually infectious disease. In doing so, the greater public who are most affected of this virus would be empowered of what they would do to protect themselves as well as how to solve the problem if ever they are already infected with it.
Description of HPV
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) has more than 100 types but only more than 30 of it can infect the genital area. Majority of the infections caused by HPV are asymptomatic, unrecognized, or subclinical. Genital HPV infection is considered to be common and usually self-limited. This infection is observable through visible genital warts both in men and women as well as the changes in the cervical cell of women (National Guideline Clearinghouse, 2008).
Genital HPV’s mode of transmission is through genital contact that most commonly happens during vaginal and anal sex. An individual can have HPV even long years have passed after the last sexual contact. Infected persons are mostly not aware that they are already infected, which is why they pass the virus to their sex partner. There are also rare cases wherein a pregnant mother can pass HPV to her newly born child. This might cause the baby to develop warts in the throat and even in the voice box (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008).
Genital warts and cancer brought by HPV happened because of the ability of the virus to cause normal cells on infected skin or mucous membranes to become abnormal. Most often, the changes in these cells are not observable. However, in most cases, the body’s immune system can naturally fight off HPV and the infected cells would go back to normal. The low risk types of HPV cause genital warts while the high-risk HPV infection that could no longer be cleared by the immune system develop into cancer (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008).
There is no known treatment for the virus itself. However, a healthy immune system is very helpful as it can naturally fight off most types of PHV. Diseases caused by HPV can be treated like the visible genital warts, which can be removed through applied medications or by surgery that can be done by health care providers. Cervical cancer and other HPV-related cancers are treatable when diagnosed early. Treatments like surgery, radiation, therapy, and chemotherapy are some of the ways in order to address cancers caused by HPV (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008).
Prevention is still better than cure. This is why it would be better if women would avail of the vaccine that protects them from four types of HPV, which are the common cause of cervical cancers and genital warts. Practicing safe sex by using condoms could also lower the risk of having this kind of virus. Furthermore, having a mutually monogamous relationship also lower the chances of having HPV (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2008). Genital HPV Infection – CDC Fact Sheet.
Retrieved September 8, 2008, from http://www.cdc.gov/STD/HPV/STDFact-HPV.htm.
National Guideline Clearinghouse. (2008). HPV infection and genital warts. Retrieved
September 8, 2008, from http://www.guideline.gov/summary /summary.aspx?doc_id=9682.