How do you get HPV or human papilloma virus and why should it matter? Well, first of all, human papilloma virus comes in 30 to 50 different types. And some of those types can go on to cause cancer in the genital area or the mouth and mucus membranes. And other types of HPV can go on to cause genital warts or warts in the mucus membranes. Now, how do you know if you have it? Well, making sure that you get your pap test is really important, making sure that you see your healthcare provider, if you notice any intermittent spotting or bleeding, seeing your healthcare provider, if you notice any raised white bumps that might indicate you have awards that are caused by HPV or human papilloma virus, how do you make sure you don’t get it? Or if you get it it’s properly detected and taken care of?
Well, the first thing is having sex with anyone who has carried HPV or who may have contracted HPV is a potential risk. And we know that up to 60% of the population has had or carries HPV. So having sex with anyone who has had sex previously with anyone else will definitely increase your risk of getting HPV. Now, a condom can be used and it may reduce your risk of HPV, but it’s not going to get rid of it completely because HPV lives in the genital area, or it can live in the mucus membranes and it can be completely asymptomatic. So you want to make sure that your partner doesn’t have any raised white areas that could be warts. And you want to make sure that your partner has declared to you if they have any sexually transmitted infections. But if the HBV is being carried in the genital area and you have genital genital sex, genital, vaginal penis, vaginal, or anal sex, or even oral sex, there is a risk of transferring the HPV even if you’re wearing a condom, even if you’re wearing an oral condom or an oral protection.
So we can’t completely prevent against HPV. Another way that you may be able to reduce your risk of HPV is to have an HPV vaccination. And the current guidelines are to have that HPV vaccination sometime between the age of nine years old and 26 years old. And the recommendations are usually around middle school, around 11 and 12 years old. Obviously the hope is that the HPV vaccination and the series of required vaccinations can be completed before any sexual activity, which would provide the greatest protection from HPV.