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HPV – Risk Factors

November 10, 2020


So, what are some of the risk factors that may contribute to getting HPV or human papilloma virus? The number one risk factor is to have sexual intercourse with someone who carries HPV and therefore having sexual activity, either penal, vaginal or anal sex, or even oral sex with someone who has HPV increases your risk. So if you have sex with multiple partners, you therefore increase your risk even greater. We know that somewhere between 30 and up to 60% of the population carries HPV. And therefore, if you have sex with someone who has had sex with someone before, your risk increases, and the more partners you have, the greater the risk. For people who have a reduced immune system or immunocompromised, there is even greater risk because their immune system cannot mount a response against HPV, which is essentially a very common virus. Remember HPV is the most common, sexually transmitted infection in the United States. There are potential other risk factors for HPV. For example, if you haven’t had your vaccination, which is recommended to have occurred and have the series completed sometime in middle school recommendation around 11 to 12 years old, and definitely between the age of nine and 26. Now, if you’re beyond that age and you have risk factors, multiple sexual partners, immunocompromised, then it’s definitely a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider about whether you are a candidate for HPV vaccination.

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