There are more than 40 types of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) that both men and women are susceptible to. These types are also found to infect the throat and mouth, which is part of the reason it is the most easily transferred Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) among teen males and females.
The HPV Facts and Statistics:
- The majority of those infected with HPV don’t even know they have it because in many cases, the person infected does not show any symptoms or signs of an infection.
- HPV can be transmitted from person to person through any sort of genital contact with someone who is infected with HPV. It is important for sexually active teens to remember that sexual intercourse is not necessary to spread HPV.
- At least one in every two sexually active teen women has had at least one type of genital HPV infection.
- About 75 to 89 percent of all males and females in the United States will be infected with HPV through the entire course of their life.
- HPV in women can cause pre-cancers and cancers (cervical, vaginal and vulvar) as well as genital warts.
- While it is rare for men to show any outward signs of having HPV, they can also contract genital warts when infected with HPV.
- About 800 men are infected with HPV related penile cancer each year along with 1100 men who contract HPV related anal cancer.
- It is possible to contract more than one type of HPV
- In rare instances it is possible for a pregnant woman who is infected with HPV to transmit the disease to her baby during delivery, which can cause the baby to suffer from Juvenile-Onset Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis.
For many, HPV can clear on it’s own, but some may show the outward signs and symptoms. There is no way to tell who will have the virus clear on its own or who will experience the painful and dangerous visible symptoms.
HPV Prevention and Treatment:
- Gardisil is the only HPV vaccine that helps protect against 4 of the many types of the HPV infection.
- Abstinence is the only 100 percent effective way to prevent sexually active teens as well as adults to prevent contracting or spreading HPV infections
- Using a latex condom is another effective way to prevent spreading HPV, although it is not 100 percent effective. It is important for sexually active teens to remember that both males and females can spread the disease. Because males don’t typically show any sign of symptoms, it can be easily transferred. Sexual intercourse is not necessary to pass the disease from person to person as long as there is some sort of genital contact involved.
- Getting screened for HPV and other sexually transmitted diseases and infections is one of the best methods to help prevent spreading the infection.
- There is no cure for HPV, but there is ways to prevent the disease and ways to treat the signs and symptoms.
The HPV Vaccine:
- Gardisil, the HPV vaccination, works to protect young women ages 9 to 26 against the two types of HPV that cause about 75 percent of cases of cervical cancer and 90 percent of 2 more types of HPV that cause genital warts.
- In young men ages 9 to 26, Gardisil also help protect against 90 percent of the cases of genital warts.
- Gardisil is also 70 percent effective in protecting girls, teens and women ages 9 to 26 in preventing vaginal cancers and is 50 percent effective in protecting against vulvar cancer cases.
- Because Gardisil is not 100 percent effective and does not protect against or prevent all types of HPV, it is important for teens and young women and men to take part in routine HPV screening in addition to getting the HPV vaccination.
Because HPV is so common among sexually active teens, it is important to discuss getting the HPV vaccine with your parents or doctor to prevent and lower your chances of contracting one or more of the types of HPV. Abstinence or condom use is also essential to preventing the further spread of the disease.
cdc.gov, gardasil.com, youngwomenshealth.org