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HPV risk factors

QUESTION

My mother had cervical cancer and in general there is a family history with cancer in women. I have cancer phobia and I always take care of my health and I am reading a lot about Women Health. My partner has HPV and I afraid of getting it. Would you please tell me what are HPV risk factors?

ANSWER from experts

It is very good that you are taking care of your health because health protection and diseases prevention is very important for all women (especially prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and cancer prevention).

Concerning HPV risk factors, it is important to highlight that women and men are equally at risk of catching HPV although men have a slightly lower chance of actually developing genital warts.

HPV - genital warts

HPV – genital warts

Individuals in their early 20’s tend to be the most at risk of contracting the virus. However, because HPV is so common, you do not need to have a lot of sexual partner’s to come into contact with the virus.

You are at greater risk of getting HPV if:

  • You had sexual contact at an early age.
  • Either you or your sexual partners have had many different sexual partners at any time.
  • You or any of your sexual partners have had a history of sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Any of your sexual partners did not wear a condom.

 

Important to know

An abnormal Pap test is often the first sign of a HPV infection. This is why it is important to start Pap tests by the time you are 21 years old. You should start earlier if you have special risks such as problems with your immune system or if you start sexual activities very early (13-15).

 


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