About HPV

HPV: The facts

  • Almost all sexually active people will contact one of the many sexually transmitted HVP viruses in their lifetimes.
  • Those with HPV are 20 percent more likely to also have another sexually transmitted disease.
  • There are more than 100 different strains of HPV.
  • More than 95 percent of HPV strains cause no signs, symptoms or physical problems.
  • Because so many strains of HPV trigger no symptoms, many people who have the virus have no idea.
  • An estimated 20 million Americans between the ages of ages 15 to 29 currently have HPV.
  • Some HPV viruses cause warts on the hands and feet, but these are not the same strains associated with genital warts.
  • The two types of HPV most associated with genital warts are HPV 6 and 11.
  • HPV 6 and 11 are not associated with cervical cancer, one of the biggest risks of HPV for women, but it is possible to contract more than one strain of HPV.
  • HPV can be contracted through vaginal, anal or oral sex.
  • HPV is spread through skin-to-skin contact, but the virus can live within the skin and show no symptoms.
  • HPV can be transmitted to another person even when an infected person has no signs or symptoms.
  • An estimated 5.5 million new cases of HPV occur in the United States each year.
  • Researchers continue to debate whether or not HPV is more contagious when genital warts are present, because the virus could be just as contagious when warts are not visible.
  • Condoms only offer limited protection from HPV, because the virus can live on skin not protected by the condom.
  • Vaccines are now available for young women and young men to prevent the contraction of HPV. Vaccines are recommended for those between the ages of 13 and 26.
  • Because it can be transmitted through oral sex, HVP is now the leading cause of oral cancer.
  • The HPV virus that causes cervical cancer can live on the cervix for 10 to 20 years before it develops into cancer.
  • Because HPV infections live in the skin, and are not believed to enter the bloodstream, having an HPV infection in one part of the body should not cause the infection to spread to another part of the body.

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