The Human Papillomavirus or HPV is a viral infection that’s passed between people through skin-to-skin contact. There are over 100 varieties of HPV, more than 40 of which are passed through sexual contact and can affect your genitals, mouth, or throat. The facts surrounding it can leave you confused.
Myth #1: One must have sexual intercourse to get HPV.
HPV is spread by intimate skin-to-skin contact. While most cases are sexually transmitted, people who haven’t had intercourse can become infected. Using condoms helps, but they don’t completely protect you against the virus. They don’t cover all the genital skin.
Myth #2: It is prominent in Females
According to the researchers, the prevalence of any HPV and HR-HPV was significantly lower among males than among females at ages 14 to 19 years but higher at ages 40 to 49 years and 50 to 59 years.
According to the researchers the biological and behavioral differences could explain the differences in patterns of HPV prevalence among males and females. Among them are a potentially weaker immune response to genital HPV infection in males than in females and a higher probability of female-to-male transmission.
Myth #3: HPV interferes with pregnancy.
In most cases, having HPV does not impact a woman’s ability to become pregnant. If you’re pregnant and have HPV, you can get genital warts or develop abnormal cell changes on your cervix. Regular screening can find these, and your doctor can treat them. Becoming pregnant after receiving the HPV vaccine is safe. The vaccine does not affect a fetus.
Myth #4: If you have taken the HPV vaccine, you can skip your Pap test.
No for no vaccine prevents all types of HPV that can cause cervical cancer, vaccinated women age 21 to 29 should receive Pap tests every three years. Women age 30 to 64 also should get a Pap test and an HPV every five years. The HPV test checks your cervix for the virus that can cause abnormal cells that lead to cervical cancer. It may show that more frequent screening is needed. Women age 65 or older should discuss their individual need for screening with their doctor. Boys and girls age 11 to 12 should receive the vaccine.
That’s when the immune system is at its best to respond to the vaccine. Regular screening can help detect the changes associated with cervical cancer in women. Additionally, DNA tests on cervical cells can detect strains of HPV associated with genital cancers.
Myth #5 Warts or dysplasia do not re-occur once treated
It’s all a matter of an individual’s immune system. if the immune system is impaired–using certain medications, by HIV infection, or by some temporary trauma such as excessive stress, serious illness, or surgery–it may be unable to prevent a recurrence. However, if the immune system is weakened only temporarily, most likely the recurrence will be short-lived.
Recent studies from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and from the University of Washington suggest that HPV may eventually be cleared, or rooted out altogether, in most people with well-functioning immune system. However, in at least some cases the virus apparently does remain in the body indefinitely, able to produce symptoms if the immune system weakens.
There is no treatment for the virus, but the symptoms can be treated. To prevent health problems associated with HPV, be sure to get regular health check-ups, screenings, and Pap smears.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.