Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a viral infection that is passed between people through skin-to-skin contact. There are over 100 varieties which are passed through sexual contact and can affect your genitals, mouth, or throat. Most people get a genital HPV infection through direct sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex.

Because HPV is a skin-to-skin infection, intercourse isn’t always required for transmission to occur.

Many people have HPV and don’t even know it, which means you can still contract it even if your partner doesn’t have any symptoms. It’s also possible to have multiple types of HPV.

In rare cases, a mother who has HPV can transmit the virus to her baby during delivery. When this happens, the child may develop a condition called recurrent respiratory papillomatosis where they develop HPV-related warts inside their throat or airways.

 

HPV in men

Many men that are infected with HPV have no symptoms, although some may develop genital warts. See your doctor if you notice any unusual bumps or lesions on your penis, scrotum, or anus.

Some strains of HPV can cause penile, anal, and throat cancer in men. Some men may be more at risk for developing HPV-related cancers, including men who receive anal sex and men with a weakened immune system.

The strains of HPV that cause genital warts aren’t the same as those that cause cancer. Get more information about HPV infection in men.

 




HPV in women

It’s estimated that 80% of women will contract at least one type of HPV during their lifetime. Like with men, many women that get HPV don’t have any symptoms and the infection goes away without causing any health problems.

Some women may notice that they have genital warts, which can appear inside the vagina, in or around the anus, and on the cervix or vulva.

Make an appointment with your doctor if you notice any unexplained bumps or growths in or around your genital area.

Some strains of HPV can cause cervical cancer or cancers of the vagina, anus, or throat. Regular screening can help detect the changes associated with cervical cancer in women. Additionally, DNA tests on cervical cells can detect strains of HPV associated with genital cancers.

The HPV vaccine helps protect you against certain types of HPV that can lead to cancer or genital warts.

HPV types 16 and 18 — the 2 types that cause 80% of cervical cancer cases.

HPV types 6 and 11, which cause 90% of genital warts cases.

Others (types 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58) that can lead to cancer of the cervix, anus, vulva/vagina, penis, or throat

The HPV vaccine is given in a series of shots. For people ages 15-45, the HPV vaccine is 3 separate shots 0, 1 month and 6 months. So, in all, it takes about 6 months to get all 3 shots.

For people ages 9-14, you only need to get 2 shots. The second shot is given 6 months after the first shot.

The HPV vaccine is routinely recommended for girls and boys ages 11 or 12, although it can be given as early as age 9. It’s ideal for girls and boys to receive the vaccine before they have sexual contact and are exposed to HPV.

Share This:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.