Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

HPV infection is caused by a large group of viruses. They affect the skin and the mucous membranes. Infe ctions of the genital area are highly contagious and common. HPV can also cause genital warts and cervical cancer.

The main symptoms include:

HPV has no symptoms, so you may not know if you have it. HPV can cause other health issues including certain types of cancers. You can have HPV for many years without it causing problems. You can have it even if you have not been sexually active or had a new partner for many years.

  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Swollen glands in your neck
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing
1. How do you catch it?

Many types of HPV affect the mouth, throat or genital area. They’re easy to catch. You do not need to have penetrative sex.

You can get HPV from:

  • any skin-to-skin contact of the genital area
  • vaginal, anal or oral sex
  • sharing sex toys

As an infected person may have no symptoms, it can be very difficult to know how the infection was caught.

2. Prevention?

Sexually active individuals can lower the risk of catching HPV by using a condom, however due to the risk of transmission from skin-to-skin contact, this may not provide full protection. You cannot fully protect yourself against HPV, but there are things that can help.

  • Condoms can help protect you against HPV, but they do not cover all the skin around your genitals hence full protection is difficult- almost impossible.
  • The HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV that cause most cases of genital warts and cervical cancer, as well as some other cancers. It does not protect against all types of HPV.
3. Vaccination options

Vaccination is available for both males and females. 9 strains of HPV can be prevented through vaccination. Women should continue any routine smear tests even if they have been vaccinated against HPV.

Number of doses? 3 doses for age group 15-44 (2 doses for age group 12-14)
Booster doses? Not required

For a free risk assessment and expert advice, contact us today and speak with one of our dedicated healthcare professionals.