What is HPV?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of many STDs that can transmit through the vaginal, anal, or oral sex. It can be passed on to someone else even if the infected person doesn’t get any symptoms. The name HPV may look and sound similar to HIV, but this HPV isn’t as dangerous as HIV, so don’t be afraid.

Does HPV cause health problems?

HPV can go away on its own if your immune system is functioning well. But when it doesn’t, it can cause symptoms like genital warts and may lead to cancer in some people.

Genital warts are small bumps with cauliflower-shaped. It may come in a singular bump or groups of bumps around your genitals, anus, mouth, tongue, or nipple area. The bumps are different in sizes and could be raised or flat. However, these bumps are very contagious and will take months to a year of effort to get rid of.

How can I avoid HPV?

There’s a vaccine available for HPV, but the recommended age to get this vaccine is from 9-26 years old. If you’re past 26, the effect of this vaccine won’t be as good as the people in recommended ages.

How do I know if I have HPV?

No test can check for one’s HPV status, and many will find out only when they get genital warts, but for women, there are HPV tests used for screening of cervical cancer.

What does HPV cause, and how can they be treated?

  • Genital warts: This can be treated by using ointments or using surgical means. If they’re left untreated, they may disappear on their own, stay as they are, or growing in size and number.
  • Cervical pre-cancer: It may sound intimidating, but this can be treated. Any woman who gets routine Pap tests and follow-up tests as required can identify this issue before it develops into deadly cancer.
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