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What is HPV?

QUESTION – What is HPV? Is HPV sexually transmitted? How I can get it? What is HPV influence at women health in general?

What is HPV ? – ANSWER from experts

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. There are many different types of Human Papillomavirus (over 100 different kinds of viruses) and more than 30 are sexually transmitted – they can infect the genital areas of males and females. These types of Human Papillomavirus can also infect the mouth and throat.

Most people who become infected with Human Papillomavirus do not even know they have it. It is estimated that as much as 80% of the population is infected with a strain of Human Papillomavirus at some point in their life.

Different types of Human Papillomavirus can cause genital warts and/or pre-cancerous changes on the cervix that can later lead to cancer of the cervix. In rare cases, the virus can cause other types of cancers of the vulva, vagina, and anus in girls.

Many sexually active young women (almost 1 in every 2) have or had genital Human Papillomavirus infection. In general, any sexually active person (of any age, any sexual orientation, any sex, any population) could get HPV – it is mainly spread by sexual contact. Very rarely, a mother who is infected with the Human Papillomavirus can infect her newborn baby during the delivery.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Human Papillomavirus and genital warts are usually spread by direct skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, anal and/or oral sex with someone who has been infected with Human Papillomavirus. Using condoms every time you have sex can help protect against Human Papillomavirus but they aren’t perfect because HPV can be found on skin that isn’t covered by a condom.

It is noted by scientists that in 90% of cases, the body’s immune system clears Human Papillomavirus naturally within two years.

If you are sexually active, or thinking about becoming sexually active, your best protection is to learn the facts about how Human Papillomavirus is spread and how to prevent getting it.

HPV transmission

HPV transmission

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).

Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Risk factors for cervical cancer

Starting to have sex early (before age 18)

Starting birth control pills early (before age 20)

Having had many sexual partners

Being infected with an STI or having had a sex partner who has an STI

Smoking


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