I have HPV. What should I do? Can I get rid of it?

First of all, you're not alone. About 80% of people in South Africa (that's 4 in every 5 people) have had HPV. Most types of HPV are harmless. But if a doctor or a nurse has told you that you have HPV, it might be because it is one of the more harmful kinds of virus.

The bad news is that, once HPV is in your system, there is no cure for it. The good news is that the symptoms or illnesses that come with HPV can be treated.

• Genital warts (or other warts) can be treated by a doctor. They can give you lotion to put on the warts, or they can burn or freeze them off. If you don't treat them, they could go away or stay the same, but they could also get worse.

• Cancer can be treated in a lot of ways, depending on where in your body the cancer is, and how serious it is. But the sooner you treat it, the better. That's why girls and women should have pap smears with their primary care doctor or gynaecologist every year, as soon as they start having sex. A pap smear is a way of checking for cervical (and other types of) cancer.

Read more about HPV on B-wise.mobi OR visit your clinic to speak to a nurse or doctor about you HPV concerns!

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