Here’s the lowdown: HPV affects 80% of males and females in their lifetime2 and can develop into HPV-related cancers1. That’s why it’s important for you and your friends to learn more about it.
WHAT IS HPV?
There are more than 100 types of the human papillomavirus (HPV). At least 14 are cancer-causing or high-risk5, and over 40 affect the genital area8. So, protecting yourself is crucial.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF HPV?
Usually, HPV has no signs or symptoms and the majority of infections clear up on their own. This makes it hard to tell if you or your partner are infected or not.
WHO GETS HPV?
Around 660,000,000 people are infected with HPV globally4. The virus can affect those who are in a steady relationship7 or even those who haven’t had sex yet. This is because HPV is transmitted from one person to another through skin-to-skin contact1. This means that even if you’re wearing protection or not going all the way with vaginal or anal sex, you could still contract the virus3.
SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT HPV?
Yes, there’s cause for concern. Though HPV infections usually clear up on their own, HPV-related cancers typically develop slowly and may not be diagnosed until decades after a person gets infected with the virus3. In the last 30 years, cases of genital warts in the country have risen, indicating that HPV infections have increased too10.
HOW CAN HPV AFFECT GUYS?
HPV increases a man’s risk of anal cancer1 and is responsible for 85%-91% of anal cancer cases9. It can also cause genital warts which usually appear as a small bump or group of bumps in the genital area3.
Why should you protect yourself against HPV
If you get infected in the future, there’s no routine screening available for you to confirm that you have HPV6. Additionally, few males develop antibodies against HPV even after recovering11, so they are still vulnerable to reinfections12. Speaking to your doctor can help you protect yourself and others against HPV and its related diseases.