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HPV 101

<p>HPV is the culprit behind genital warts. As though that wasn't bad enough, it's also behind certain kinds of cancer, too. You know what to do: Be safe. Stay safe.</p>
| Jul 28, 2009
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What you need to know about HPV
HPV. The Human Papillomavirus. With a name that could figure perfectly in your favorite Resident Evil game, you have every right to be spiteful of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). It is the culprit behind genital warts. Just google “tree man,” and see how bad those cauliflower-like aberrations could spread. It has also been linked to several types of cancers, so it really isn’t something to joke about. If you love your girlfriend or your wife or at least care about your screw buddy, we suggest you learn the truth about HPV.

How common is it really?
It’s the most common sexually transmitted infection. Eighty percent of the population has it, and if you’re not infected yet, there’s a 50 percent chance you’ll get it if you have sex with someone who is infected with one.

How many types are there?
There are 100 types of HPV, 40 of which affect the genital areas of men and women—the penis, anus, linings of the vagina, cervix, pretty much the entire region where the whole shebang happens. There are two types of genital HPV: “low-risk” or those which cause warts, and “high-risk” or those which cause cancers. Those that cause warts won’t cause cancer. Still, those warts are disgusting to look at.

How do I get it?
It is passed on during vaginal, oral, or anal sexual intercourse. The virus is present under the skin. Just because there are no visible genital warts doesn’t mean it can’t be transmitted or you’re not already infected by it.

How do I know I have HPV?
It’s hard to find out for sure as some people won’t even know they have it due to the absence of readily observable symptoms. Certain types cause the aforementioned warts. But the worst of its kind cause cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, anus, and penis. Almost 70 percent of cervical cancers are caused by HPV type 16 and HPV type 18.

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WORDS: Gelo Gonzales

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