What is HPV?

HPV stands for human papillomavirus. It's a sexually transmitted infection (STI), which means you get it through sexual intercourse (and sometimes other kinds of sexual contact). You can get HPV even from having sex with just one person.

HPV is actually the name for a group of viruses, and there are over 200 different types of virus in the group. They can show up in different parts of your body, but quite a few of the viruses affect your genital areas (private parts). Some are more dangerous than others. The less dangerous ones might cause problems like genital warts. The more dangerous ones can lead to serious diseases like cervical cancer.

Sometimes HPV gets better on its own but when it doesn't, it can be a real problem.

A few things make HPV extra dangerous.

1. It's really common so sexually active people will pick it up at some point in their lives. So it's hard to avoid. And if you're thinking, Well, just don't have sex with anyone who has HPV symptoms…

2. Bad news: HPV often doesn't have any symptoms. Or symptoms might only develop years later. So people don't even know they have it most of the time!

That's why getting an HPV vaccine is the best way to avoid getting it.

Read more about HPV vaccinations on B-Wise.mobi, here OR visit your clinic to speak to a nurse or doctor about HPV.

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Anonymous 7 February 2017 13:02

I was having genital warts but after a year they. dissappear. How should I know that is totally gone?

B-Wise Expert Expert 9 February 2017 12:45

Hi Anonymous, Genital warts are caused by an infection called the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Most people get HPV from unprotected sex. Warts can go away on their own without treatment, but this can take a few months or a couple of years.  Even when the warts are gone, the virus will still be in your body and skin. This means that even if you can’t see any warts, you can still pass it on to your partners. The only way to protect your partners from HPV is to always use a condom when you have sex. It is a good idea to go to the clinic and get tested for HPV and other STIs, and see if a doctor or nurse recommends any treatment.

vivian 12 June 2016 22:51

Can I get HPV from a toilet seat?

B-Wise Expert Expert 14 June 2016 12:29

Hi Vivian Thanks for that very important question. Well, HPV is only spread during sex, it can be vaginal, anal or oral sex. You cannot get it from a toilet seat, kissing on the mouth, hugging, being unclean, and sharing food or things like swimming pools. HPV is now preventable with a vaccine that is available from pharmacies. Visit your local pharmacy and ask for more information on this vaccine.