What do I need to know about HPV?

What is HPV?

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of more than 150 related viruses. It is a common virus that affects both men and women.

About 40 kinds can infect the private genital areas.  These kinds of HPV are spread during sexual contact. Other types of HPV infections cause common warts like hand warts and plantar warts on the feet – but these are not sexually transmitted.

There are several high-risk strains which can lead to cancer.

Who does it affect?

HPV infections can affect everyone – both men and women. Anyone who has had sexual skin-to-skin contact, even without any form of penetration, is at risk.

HPV is so common that about 80% of sexually-active adults will contract at least one type of HPV at some point in their lifetime.

How is HPV
transmitted?

Is there a cure
for HPV?

What are the
symptoms?

What are genital
warts?

HPV-related diseases

Cervical canceris the most common HPV-associated cancer. However, HPV infections can also result in anal, vulvar, and vaginal cancer.

0 %

of cervical cancers

85- 0 %

of anal cancers

70- 0 %

of vaginal cancers

~ 0 %

of vulva cancers

> 0 %

for all cases of
genital warts

Common myths surrounding HPV

Myth #1

Only women can get HPV

Truth

HPV is common among both men and women. About 80% of people will get an HPV infection at some point in their lives.

Myth #2

You must have sexual intercourse to get HPV

Truth

HPV is spread by intimate skin-to-skin contact. While most cases are sexually transmitted, people who haven’t had intercourse can become infected. Using condoms help, but they do not completely protect you against the virus. They don’t cover all of the genital skin

Myth #3

If I've always used condoms, I'm not at risk for HPV

Truth

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Used correctly, condoms are very effective against STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV that are spread through bodily fluids. However, they are likely to be less protective against STIs that spread through skin-to-skin contact, such as HPV and herpes.

Myth #4

People with HPV show symptoms

Truth

Most people with HPV don’t know they’re infected and never develop symptoms or health problems from it.

Myth #5

There are treatments for HPV

Truth

There are no treatments for the virus. But there are ways to treat HPV-related health problems, such as precancerous lesions and genital warts.

Myth #6

People who are vaccinated against HPV do not have to undergo screening

Truth

Vaccinated people will still need regular screening because the vaccine protects against most but not all HPV types. Also, people who got the vaccine after becoming sexually active may not get the full benefit of the vaccine if they had already been exposed to HPV.

transmitted

How is HPV transmitted?

HPV can be transmitted through intimate skin-to-skin contact, even without having sex. It can also be contracted by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the virus.

HPV can be passed on even when an infected person has no signs or symptoms. Anyone who is sexually active can get HPV, even if you have had sex with only one person. Symptoms may develop only years after being infected, making it hard to know when you first became infected.

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Is there a cure for HPV

There are no treatment options available for the virus infection itself, but for most people, it would be cleared by their own immune system. There are treatments available for the symptoms it can cause. Regular screenings and vaccination will help provide protection against Cervical Canver.

warning

What are the symptoms of an HPV infection?

In most cases, HPV infections go away on its own and does not cause any health problems. But when an HPV infection does not go away, it can cause health problems like genital warts and cancer.

virus

What are genital warts?

Genital warts usually appear as a small bump or groups of bumps in the genital area. They can be small or large, raised or flat, or shaped like a cauliflower. A healthcare provider can usually diagnose warts by looking at the genital area.

HPV infections can cause certain cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, or anus.