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April 20, 2017     The Ponchatoula Times
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April 20, 2017

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THE TIMES, APRIL 20, 2017, 2016 PAGE 10 HPV Sexually transmitted infections are widespred By PROF. RANDOLPH HOW-ES M.D., PhD (EDITOR'S NOTE: Longtime medical columnist for The Times, the author is an accomplished surgeon, medical inventor, and Country music recording artist. Dr. Howes grew up on his parents' Ponchatoula straw- berry farm. He is a graduate of St. Joseph, Ponchatoula High School, Southeastern, Tulane - two doctorates, followed by a residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in plastic surgery. He says he is "retired" now in Kentwood. The doctor's column appears on facebook.com]theponchatou- latimes and on facebook.com/theindependencetimes. It is also available online at ponchatoula.com/ptimes) According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmit- ted infection (STI) in the United States. HPV is a different virus than herpes. HPV is so com- mon that most sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives. Anyone who is sexually active can get HPV, even if you have had sex with only one person. You also can develop symp- toms years after you have sex with someone who is infected, making it hard to know when you first became infected. There are many different types of HPV and some types can cause health problems including genital warts and cancers. But, there are vac- cines that can reportedly stop these health problems from happening. Health officials are now saying about 45% of Ameri- cans ages 18 to 59 had some form of genital human papil- lomavirus. More concerning, about 25% of men and 20% of women had certain strains that carry a higher risk of cancer. There are more than 150 HPV viruses. Most important, the types of HPV that can cause genital warts are not the same as the types of HPV that can cause cancers. Genital warts usu- ally appear as a small bump or group of bumps in the geni- tal area. They can be small or large, raised or flat, or shaped like a cauliflower. HPV can cause cervical and other cancers, cancers includ- ing cancer of the vulva, vagi- na, penis, or anus. It can also cause cancer in the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils (called oropharyngeal cancer). Cancer often takes years, [] even decades, to develop after a person gets HPV. There is no way to know which people who have HPV will develop cancer or other health prob- lems. Fortunately, many cases Dr. Howes of HPV go away on their own. Actually, up to 90% of HPV infections resolve spontane- ously within two years. Even though cervical can- cer is cited as the second most common cancer in women worldwide, existing data show that this only applies to de- veloping countries. In indus- trialized nations, where Pap screening is common, there has been a 70% reduction in the incidence of cervical can- cer during the past 50 years. Government officials are now recommending getting vaccinated with an HPV vac- cine, which they claim is safe and effective. CDC recom- mends 11 to 12 year olds get two doses of HPV vaccine to protect against cancers caused by HPV. To the con- trary, skepticism about the vaccine has been increasing for several reasons, despite reassurances from the public- health sector. In the America that I love, please remember to always practice safe sex. Use condoms and try to be in.a monoga- mous relationship. Check with your doctor about HPV vaccinations. Now THREE Locations to serve you Owners- Gary & Paige Brown claw its way back to legal standing for the schools: "Unitary status includes a commitment to continue building and maintaining facilities in a manner that promotes continuing deseg- regation. "Plaintiffs have brought to the attention of the court that school board leaders and the board president and superintendent have pub- licly sabotaged public opin- ion against compliance with R. Doc. 876. "Tangipahoa Parish has one of the low- est, if not the lowest, rate of tax contributions to public schools in the State of Loui- siana. ' rhe school board presi- tOM PAGE ONE dent and superintendent make public their hostility toward desegregation orders concerning facilities. Their public comments give sup- port for the idea that the community may reject tax- es, hold out, get unitary sta- tus, and then build schools and facilities wherever they wish, without regard for de- segregation. "To allow this continuing hostility to compliance with the Fourteenth Amendment would be tragic," reads the motion to be ruled on by Federal Judge Ivan Lemelle on a court date not yet set. President Whitlow told The Times the school board has made necessary changes in several key areas and is now seeking court recogni- tion of its accomplishments. The courts have already approved the school's Trans- portation and Extracurricu- lar plans, and in the areas of Staff and Facilities, Whit- low says the board has been in compliance with the law for three years now and now seeks recognition of that. In the dicey area of im- proving the racial ratio of minority teachers, Whitlow told The Times a recruiting drive continues to seek new minority hires, but speaks of the increasing difficulty of luring graduates from pre. dominantly Black colleges: "There has been a drop- off of teachers being trained. Being a teacher is a calling, like to a ministry." On a more positive note, the courts were insisting the local school board re- distribute 8,000 school- children in the system and to-date, 11,000 have been reassigned, many of them attracted to one of the new magnet schools. Working together of Ponchatoula has part- nered with other agencies. To further illustrate: Each hurricane season since Katrina, Ponchatou- la Fire Chief Rodney Drude and Mayor Bob Zabbia sign intergovern- mental agreements with St. Bernard Parish offi- cials that should the lower parish need to evacuate, officials can bring their equipment, offices and important records here. (And they have, housed at the Fire Department.) If needed, they will pro- vide additional help to our community. Another help is having Parish President Robbie Miller, Mayor Zabbia and neighboring leaders hold positions on the Regional Planning Commission which meets monthly in New Orleans, allowing area officials to know the latest in works and fund- ing available. Through this commis- sion, the parishes of Jef- ferson, Orleans, Plaque- mines, St. Bernard, St. John, St. Tammany and Tangipahoa get certain al- lotted funds each year for projects such as transpor- tation which include items such as feasibility studies and reports for sidewalks. Just recently, the Bar- ringer Road Sidewalk Proj- ect has been included in the Tangipahoa Improve- ment Program (TIP). Also, this commission has aided the city in hastening the widening of Highway 51, a project which has been an- ticipated for 12 years. At the parish level, bids for road improvements and overlay require such a vol- ume of work and expense that the city can "piggy- back" onto the parish to obtain high quality work at a lower price through a co-operative agreement, allowing the city to stretch its dollar rather than bid out on its own. Thus, when FROM PAGE ONE a parish road and a city street meet, the work con- tinues all at one time. Another example is the way the parish Council on Aging and the city have worked together to provide daily bus transportation, allowing more Ponchatou- la citizens to get employ- ment, shop, and get to medical appointments. Ponchatoula city gov- ernment and parish gov- ernment continue to work hand-in-hand in mutual agreement resulting in major accomplishments for both. MAGNOLIA Obstetrics and Gynecology www.northoa ks.org/magnolia Hours of operation: M-F 8AM - 6:30PM SAT 8AM - 3PM Closed on Sunday POOL AND PATIO Custom Gunite Pools & Spas Vinyl Liner Pools Fiber Glass Pools Chemical & Pool Supplies Liner Replacements Automatic Cleaners & Salt Water Systems Shop local, Come by and get to know us! 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