HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). There are many different types of HPV. Some types can cause health problems including genital warts and cancers. But there are vaccines that can stop these health problems from happening.
Most people with HPV do not know they are infected and never develop symptoms or health problems from it. Some people find out they have HPV when they get genital warts. Women may find out they have HPV when they get an abnormal Pap test result (during cervical cancer screening). Others may only find out once they’ve developed more serious problems from HPV, such as cancers.
- You can get HPV by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the virus. It is most commonly spread during vaginal or anal sex.
- HPV can be passed even when an infected person has no signs or symptoms.
- Anyone who is sexually active can get HPV, even if you have had sex with only one person.
- You also can develop symptoms years after you have sex with someone who is infected. This makes it hard to know when you first became infected.
Get vaccinated – There are HPV vaccinations available that are safe and effective that protect against diseases caused by HPV.
Get screened for cervical cancer – Women between 21 and 65 years old should get routine screenings to prevent cervical cancer.
If you are sexually active use condoms to help lower your chances of getting HPV. There is still a chance that HPV can be contracted, but your chances are significantly lower with condom use.