HPV: You're At Risk
If you’re a sexually active individual, there’s no doubt that your doctor has recommended you get an HPV vaccine. But is the risk of contracting HPV really that high? And what does it mean for your health if you do have it?
HPV is a sexually transmitted disease.
HPV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that’s passed through intimate skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, anal, and oral sex.
HPV can cause genital warts, which are fleshy growths that appear on the penis or around the anus. It can also lead to cancer in both men and women.
There are more than 150 strains of HPV, with more than 40 strains linked to cervical cancer. While most people with HPV don’t experience any symptoms at all, some can have genital warts that clear up on their own over time — but not before causing embarrassment for their owners. Other strains may cause abnormal Pap smears and other problems related to the cervix; this includes precancerous changes in cells which could eventually turn into cervical cancer if left untreated for long enough (and if you smoke).
Some types of HPV also cause penile cancer in men as well as anal and oropharyngeal cancers such as throat/head/neck cancers in both sexes; while these health outcomes are rarer than they used to be due to better detection methods (and less smoking), there have been no major breakthroughs so far when it comes time for treatment options like surgery or radiation therapy!
In the US, about 14 million people get HPV every year.
In the US, about 14 million people get HPV every year. Many people don’t know that they have it because they don’t show any symptoms and the virus can take years to develop into cancerous cells.
HPV is spread by skin-to-skin contact, so you can get it from another person even if there’s no penetration. It’s very common for men to be infected with HPV without realizing it because most men aren’t tested for the virus like women are.
About 3 out of 4 people who have sex will get an HPV infection at some point in their lives.
Every year, about 14 million people get a new HPV infection. Most of the time, it goes away on its own and doesn’t cause any health problems. But sometimes it can lead to genital warts or cancer that spreads, especially if you don’t get the virus treated right away.
The most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the U.S., HPV is spread through skin-to-skin contact with an infected area of your body—including the mouth, throat and anus—during oral, vaginal or anal sex with someone who has one of these viruses in their system. While condoms do help lower your risk of catching HPV or other STIs during sex—and since they protect against pregnancy as well—they can’t fully prevent them since they don’t cover all of your body surface areas where infections may be transmitted during sexual activity (e.g., hands).
Most people who get HPV don’t know they have it.
Most people who get HPV don’t know they have it. Of the more than 200 strains of HPV, only about 15 are associated with cancer. The majority of people who have sex get at least one type of genital HPV in their lifetime—it’s the most common sexually transmitted disease in the U.S., affecting about 80 percent of all men and women ages 14 to 49, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Most people who have symptoms from an infection don’t know they have it because most infections clear up on their own within two years without treatment or cause no symptoms at all. In fact, most cases of HPV go away without causing any health problems at all! If a person does develop symptoms from an infection—such as warts or cervical changes—they may not realize it’s related to an STD; they might instead assume that something else is wrong with them (like blisters caused by shaving).
There are vaccines that can protect you against cancer-causing types of HPV.
There are two vaccines that protect against the types of HPV that cause most cases of cancer. They are called Gardasil and Gardasil 9. The vaccines are recommended for boys and girls aged 11 or 12 years old, with a second dose given six months after the first.
It’s also recommended that men who have sex with men get vaccinated against HPV if they didn’t get vaccinated when they were younger, especially those who have multiple sex partners or engage in oral sex.
Women over age 26 should be tested to see if they’ve already had some of the cancers caused by certain high-risk strains of HPV (such as cervical cancer). If you’ve been tested and don’t have these strains yet, discuss getting vaccinated with your doctor or nurse practitioner before turning 27 years old.
A Pap test can find abnormal cells on your cervix, but not all abnormal cells are cancerous or caused by HPV.
A Pap test is a screening test for cervical cancer. It checks for abnormalities on the surface of your cervix that can turn into cancer or result from HPV. A Pap test does not check for HPV itself, but will find abnormal cells that could be caused by it.
- If you have an abnormal Pap smear, it doesn’t always mean you have cervical cancer. The only way to know if you have cervical cancer is with a biopsy—an office procedure where a sample of tissue is taken from your cervix and checked under a microscope by a doctor to see if it’s abnormal or cancerous (this is done at no additional cost).
- An HPV infection can cause both mild and/or serious changes in your cells without causing lasting damage—this includes clear cell adenocarcinoma (CCC), an extremely rare type of vaginal tumor.*
Up to 30% of oropharynx (throat) cancers are caused by HPV.
Oropharynx cancer is usually caused by the HPV virus. Up to 30% of oropharynx (throat) cancers are caused by HPV. It’s important to note that not all oropharynx cancers are caused by HPV and many people with oropharyngeal cancer do not have any symptoms before they’re diagnosed.
Another way of saying this is that up to 30% of oropharnyx (throat) cancer is caused by hpv.
More than 90% of cervical cancers are caused by HPV.
It is believed that more than 90% of cervical cancers are caused by HPV.
HPV can also cause cancer to develop in the anus, penis, vagina, vulva and back of throat (oropharynx).
There are more than 100 types of HPV, but only 2 types cause most cases of cervical cancer.
HPV is a virus that can cause genital warts and cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States. There are more than 100 types of HPV, but only two types cause most cases of cervical cancer: HPV 16 and 18. The viruses are easy to spread during sexual contact with someone who has them.
As you might expect, this knowledge makes for an awkward conversation with your doctor about whether or not you should get tested for HPV and if so, how often? It’s stressful enough to think about having sex with someone new; it’s even worse when you’re worried about giving yourself or receiving an STI from that person instead of just enjoying having sex because it feels good!
Your risk for cervical cancer increases over time if you have an HPV infection that is not cleared from your body by your immune system.
If you have an HPV infection that is not cleared from your body by your immune system, you increase your risk for developing cervical cancer. The longer the infection remains in your cervix, the greater the risk. It takes many years for most women to develop cervical cancer after they acquire HPV so it is important to make sure that any HPV infections are detected early and treated with appropriate measures.
You can get vaccinated to decrease the risk of spreading or getting some kinds of HPV and you should see a doctor regularly so they can do a pap smear and keep an eye out for abnormal cells that may be caused by HPV
You can get vaccinated to decrease the risk of spreading or getting some kinds of HPV and you should see a doctor regularly so they can do a pap smear and keep an eye out for abnormal cells that may be caused by HPV.
The best way to prevent HPV is abstinence from sexual intercourse or, if you choose to be sexually active, using condoms every time you have sex.
To sum up, HPV is a very common virus that can be sexually transmitted. There are vaccines that can protect you against cancer-causing types of HPV and your doctor should make sure you get one if you’re not already protected. You should also see them regularly so they can do a pap smear or test for abnormal cells caused by HPV.