Almost all cases of cervical cancers are caused by the HPV virus. HPV is a broad categorization that encompasses a family of viruses with more than 180 different variants and counting. While it’s commonly labeled a sexually transmitted infection (STI), sexual activity and/or an exchange of bodily fluids aren’t actually required to pass the virus. There are about 42.5 million active cases of human papillomavirus (HPV) in the United States, which is about 1 in 8 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In fact, the CDC asserts HPV will infect almost all sexually active people at some point in their lives. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in America, yet many people aren’t sure what it is, how you get it, and what effects it can have…

Yes, you can live a normal life with HPV

Regular cervical screening monitors HPV infection, it sees if the infection has cleared from your last screen or whether the infection has caused the cells in the cervix to change and need treating. In these studies, it is also notable that recent sex with non-new or otherwise low-risk partners did not appreciably increase the risk for incident HPV detection compared to no recent sexual activity. This information may be reassuring for women in monogamous relationships who test HPV-positive in clinical settings.

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Kristen rarely has an outbreak, so she doesn’t take many meds (the genital-herpes drug Valtrex can be taken daily to prevent symptoms). If she knows she has a hot night coming up, she pops a pill a day or two beforehand to try to reduce the transmission risk, and they always use a condom. If she suspects an outbreak is coming, they don’t have sex.

In men, high risk strains of HPV can cause penile, anal and head and neck cancers. These warts will usually show up a few months after you are exposed to HPV. They can be treated with prescription medication or removed. If they are left untreated, they may disappear by themselves, or they could grow in size or number.

But there has to be a source, and generally you’re going to be carrying the virus in the genitals. Sometimes, we’ll see them later in life, when people get sick or their immune system gets compromised by chemotherapy or other drugs. Many individuals worry about STDs, such as chlamydia or herpes. But there’s another extremely common one you need to be aware of. By Toketemu Ohwovoriole

Toketemu has been multimedia storyteller for the last four years. Her expertise focuses primarily on mental wellness and women’s health topics.

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“If you have HPV, you can still live a relatively normal life and still have intercourse,” explained Monte Swarup, M.D., a board-certified OB-GYN in Arizona and the founder of HPD Rx. “Condoms can help reduce the risk of transmission but it doesn’t eliminate it.” Jessica Shepherd, M.D., an OB-GYN in Dallas, the chief medical officer for Verywell Health and a member of the HealthyWomen Women’s Health Advisory Council. “HPV is very common and nearly all individuals will have the virus at some point in their life. However, many of these infections resolve on their own, particularly in younger adults.” “Often, a sense of shame or judgment stems from a lack of knowledge or information,” noted Melanie Bone, M.D., an OB-GYN in Florida and a member of the medical board of Daye, a gynecological health company.

This virus can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact and sexual intercourse. Most of the HPV infections are asymptomatic and will not show any signs or symptoms. However, in some people, the infection can become clinical and will display signs and symptoms.

One study reported that almost half of women infected with HPV had no obvious symptoms. Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are a group of about 120 viruses. Over 30 types of HPV can be passed from one person to another through sexual contact. Other types cause the typical warts that occur on the hands of many children.

HPV dating sites not only let you meet people who also have HPV, but you’ll find people with the same strain or type as you. Dating with HPV warts does not mean that your sex life ends. It simply means that you need to be more careful before engaging in those activities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that you can spread HPV, even if you show no signs or symptoms. You should always wear condoms and look for signs of broken skin.