HPV: Misconceptions and Misunderstandings
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common virus but, it is one that is still not widely understood or openly discussed. Because this virus is more common than most people realize, it’s important that teens, young adults, parents and the general public have a clear understanding of HPV.
Previously we wrote about the basics of HPV, explaining the symptoms, , and how it can be transmitted. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the misconceptions and misunderstandings about HPV that we’ve heard.
(We urge you to email, print, share this blog post with anyone whom you think needs to learn more about HPV.)
Misconception: Only girls and young women are affected by HPV
Reality: Men and women of all ages can be infected with HPV. Over 70% of adults will be infected with HPV at one point in their life. While both men and women can have HPV-related genital warts and can develop cancer as a result of an HPV infection, only women can develop HPV-related cervical cancer.
Misconception: I don’t need to worry about HPV because I have only one sexual partner
Reality: Anyone who has any type of sexual contact (intercourse, touching, rubbing) can contract HPV. Even though you only have had one partner, if your partner has had multiple partners you can be at risk for HPV. Because you can have HPV and not show any symptoms, it’s very easy for the virus to spread. In fact it’s not uncommon for both partners to have the virus and not know it.
Misconception: Wearing a condom will protect me from HPV
Reality: While a condom can protect you and your partner from other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), it won’t protect you from HPV. Because this virus can be spread through simple skin-to-skin contact, a condom won’t protect you 100%. There really is no way to prevent HPV - the only way you can guarantee protection is if you and your partner have not had sexual contact with anyone else. There are vaccines available to protect against different strains of HPV and if diagnosed can be an effective and natural treatment of HPV.
Misconception: The vaccine will protect me from all types of HPV and other STDs
Reality: Because there are more than 100 types of HPV, you cannot be 100% protected. As well, around 40 of these types of HPV are spread through sexual contact. The HPV vaccines do not protect you from other STDs.
So what does all of this information mean for you? Well, it means that you’re not alone in not understanding HPV - don’t be shy to ask your questions - talk to your doctor or another health practitioner. If you do contract the HPV virus, you need to know that there are treatments available. If you suspect that you may have HPV, don’t hesitate to see your doctor - the sooner you do this the better. More and more natural treatments for HPV are becoming available and recent research is showing that AHCC can be an effective natural treatment for the virus.