1. Odds Are You ’ve Probably Had HPV
HPV is the most typical sexually transmitted infection in the US! In accordance with the CDC, 79 million Americans are now infected with a couple of kind of HPV, and 14 million become newly infected each year.
“If you’ve been sexually active, you’ve got at least a 50 percent likelihood of getting had the virus,” says Dr. Robinson. Some data suggests that more than 80% of sexually active girls will get HPV at some point.
HPV is, in fact, an umbrella term for more than 150 strains of related viruses, many of that are relatively harmless. About 40 of them can infect the sexual organ areas in men as well as girls, and also a smaller number might lead to sex organ warts or cancer.
More often than not, you’ll never even know you’ve had HPV because nearly all strains (except the ones that cause warts) are symptomless. And in 90 percent of cases, the immunity system clears the virus naturally within 2 decades, in accordance with the CDC. But when HPV doesn’t go away on its own, a few HPV strains might lead to a wide assortment of types of cancer.
People living with HIV are more inclined to have HPV infections that persist, increasing their chances of developing HPV-related cancer.
2. Condoms Can’t Completely Protect You From HPV
While condoms can lessen your risk of HPV infection, they can’t remove it entirely.
“The virus can live in the scrotum and the hair-bearing regions of the genitals,” states Barbara Goff, MD, the director of gynecological oncology at the University of Washington in Seattle, therefore any foreplay which involves skin-to-skin sex organ contact can transmit the virus. So can oral and anal sex.
“That therefore why it’ s therefore vital for young individuals to get vaccinated for HPV, well before they become sexually active,” states Dr. Goff.
3. If You’re Infected, Your Present Partner May Be to Blame
In the event, you know you’ve HPV (this is more than likely to happen after an abnormal Pap test result; many doctors don’t normally test for HPV otherwise), don’t jump to conclusions about where you contracted the virus.
“Some patients assume that their current sexual partner gave it to them,” says Robinson. “However that’s likely not the case. The girls who develop cervical cancer at age 40 likely got infected soon after with their sexual partner. ”
That’s because HPV can stay dormant for many years before it starts inducing the mobile injury that may lead to cancer. Cancers might take years, or decades, to develop.
4. Smoking Raises Your Risk of HPV-Related Cancer
“Smoking weakens the immunity system, which can allow HPV to develop more rampantly,” states Sharyn Lewin, MD, the medical director of gynecologic oncology at Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, NJ. If you wish to prevent a dormant HPV infection from turning into a precancerous or cancerous growth, kick your cigarette addiction today.