HPV - Human
Men and Women who are sexually active should be screened for STDs once a year, or visit a physician any time they notice changes or feel something isn't right.
- What is it?
Genital HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease. At least 50% of all sexually active men and women will have HPV at some point in their lives. There are more than 40 strains that can infect the mouth, throat and genitals of both men and women. Most people who contract HPV never know they have it.
- How is it transmitted?
HPV is passed through vaginal, anal and oral sex, and also from skin to skin contact of the genitals (or genital to genital contact). It can be passed between opposite and same sex partners. It can also be passed during intercourse when a condom is used correctly if the virus is on a part of the genitals that is not covered by a condom.
- What are the symptoms?
Most people do not develop any symptoms. Genital warts can be caused by HPV.
- How is it diagnosed and treated?
There is currently no test to determine if someone has HPV. There are tests to screen for cervical cancer. 90% of cases of HPV will be cleared up by the body's immune system within two years of contraction. There are no treatments for the disease itself, only for the other diseases it can cause.
- Future implications
Some strains of HPV can cause cancer of the cervix. Less commonly, cancers of the vagina, vulva, penis, anus, tongue, tonsils and throat can be caused by HPV.
- How can it be prevented?
Visit the Center for Disease Control's website fact sheet for more information: