Common HPV Myths Busted
HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) is a virus that causes sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). There are many myths associated with HPV.
Myth 1: It’s not a common disease
Fact: HPV is actually a very common sexually transmitted disease. It is more common in people who have multiple sex partners. However, fact it can be transmitted during your first sexual encounter, whether you have used condom or not. It has been found that people who have at least four sexual partners are at a high risk to develop HPV, but in most of the cases the symptoms are not noticeable.
Myth 2: Condoms prevent HPV
Fact: Condoms decrease the chances of having HPV, but they don’t completely eliminate the chances of having it. Moreover, HPV can be transmitted by skin to skin contact. Therefore, the area which is not covered by the rubber can also transmit the disease. It can spread from the genital’s skin contact. It can even be transmitted from the finger to the genital area. Even those people who engage in sexual activity but do not actually have sexual intercourse (penetration) can get this disease. Therefore, even if you are using condoms during sex, HPV can infect you all the same.
Myth 3: Men don’t develop HPV
Fact: Men are also vulnerable to have HPV. If transmitted sexually, it can affect the penis, scrotum and the anus region. People who perform oral sex can also get the disease and develop oral warts, scrotum infection and mouth ulcers.
Myth 4: HPV can cause cancer
Fact: All kinds of papilloma viruses do not cause STDs. Papilloma means wart and it can occur in any part of the body. Warts are caused by various strains of papilloma viruses, but this does not mean all warts are carcinogenic. Some strains of papilloma such as strains 16 and 18 are responsible for 70% cases of cervical cancer and 85% of anal cancer. In women these strains can cause anal, neck and vaginal cancer.
Myth 5: HPV is curable
Fact: STDs such as gonorrhoea and Chlamydia are bacterial infections, so they can be cured. Since HPV is a viral disease, it is impossible to treat it completely. It depends on the efficiency of the body’s immune system to control the disease. In maximum cases, body’s immune system is efficient enough to suppress the disease.
Myth 6: HPV vaccines provide protection for lifetime
Fact: The effect of HPV vaccines are limited to short durations. When the effect is over, the person again becomes susceptible to the virus. It’s totally up to the person whether he wants to take the second dose or not.
These were some of the myths related to HPV that people should know to take correct actions for controlling the disease.
Read more articles on Understand Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Apr 03, 2012
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