Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is very common, especially to sexually active people. In fact, around 80 percent of sexually active people will have such a virus at some point in their lives. But, the sad thing is that people who are infected with HPV don’t know that they have such a virus because it does not manifest any illnesses or symptoms.
In fact, one out of four people in the US has HPV, which makes it become one of the most common types of Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD). Yes, HPV is prevalent, and it can eventually lead to various kinds of cancer, that’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention prescribes that children ages 11 to 12 years old should be given HPV vaccine.
Usually, HPV does not cause any health issues, and it just goes away on its own. But, if it doesn’t, then you may be at risk of various health problems such as cancer and genital warts. So even if a person has no signs of having an HPV, the virus will spread through vaginal, anal, or even oral sex.
Here are the facts about having sex with someone with HPV
- Using a condom can’t completely protect you from HPV
The risk of transmission of STD cannot be eliminated, but it can be reduced by using male latex condoms consistently and correctly. But, the virus is possibly living in the hair-bearing areas of the genitals and in the scrotum. It means that the virus can be transmitted by skin-to-skin genital contact, as well as anal and oral sex.
So, even if condoms are worn correctly, it is still not a guarantee that you can be protected against Human Papillomavirus. The virus can still infect the areas which are uncovered, which means that you are still at risk of getting HPV.
It is suggested that aside from using condoms while having sexual intercourse, you can reduce your risk of Human Papillomavirus by limiting your partner. It is said that the more sexual partners you have, the greater the risk of having Human Papillomavirus.
- Having an HPV vaccine can’t treat the virus itself
Take note that the vaccine available for HPV is not to treat the virus, but to prevent the same. The sad news is that HPV infection has no treatment if there are no signs or symptoms. Doctors do not treat the virus; instead, it treats the health issues caused by Human Papillomavirus.
For instance, a certain treatment can be used if genital warts appear. The doctor may recommend the patient to take medicine and apply medical creams to cure genital warts. Sometimes, doctors don’t want early treatment of warts because they usually go away on their own.
Since one of the signs of Human Papillomavirus is anal cancer, you may be advised to undergo surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. The kind of treatment for anal cancer depends on its stage according to the measurement of the tumor and the coverage of cancer.
- No cure for HPV infection
There is no way you can cure an HPV infection using antibiotics. Since HPV is a viral infection, you cannot treat the virus using anti-bacterial medications. As of now, there are no antiviral medicines that are scientifically proven to treat the virus.
But then, there is a possibility that Human Papillomavirus can be cured once you have it with the help of your own immune system. And the signs and symptoms of the said virus can actually be treated using available medications. The safest thing to do is to be protected from the said virus by having a Human Papillomavirus. As they say, “Prevention is better than cure.”
- Not all HPV infections can lead to cancer
There are around 150 different types of HPV, and they are commonly considered as sexually transmitted infection in the US. Sometimes, HPV can cause warts on the different parts of the body. There are other types of Human Papillomavirus that cause cancer.
Cervical cancer and oral cancer are two types of cancers which are linked to HPV. We already discussed that not all HPV could lead to cancer. Instead, Human Papillomavirus, which are considered as high-risk, will most likely lead to cancer.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), out of 100 kinds of Human Papillomavirus, around 14 of which are considered as high risks, which means that these are cancer-causing HPV. Believe it or not, cervical cancer is caused by a certain type of Human Papillomavirus, and it is one of the most common cancers suffered by women in less developed countries. And around 311,000 women died because of cervical cancer.