Human papillomavirus (HPV) is sexually-transmitted viruses that can infect both male and female. Promiscuous behavior or engaging with multiple sexual partners have been cited as the major cause of its transmission. Oral sex and anal sex also increase the risk of HPV transmission.
The data released by CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) state that men and women who are sexually active are exposed to the risk of HPV infection. However, the symptoms do not usually appear until many years after the transmission, so early detection is difficult. Although HPV can be killed and rid of completely, it can also stay in human bodies, causing genital warts and several types of cancer, including cervical cancer.
Fortunately, Healthy People, there are some effective ways to protect ourselves from this problem:
a. HPV vaccination
HPV or Cervarix vaccination is an initial step that women can take to protect themselves from being transmitted with this virus. Meanwhile, Gardasil vaccination can protect women from genital warts. It is better to get vaccinated before being sexually active.
b. Sticking to one sexual partner only
The more sexual partners you have, the higher your risk to HPV. We should also be honest to our current sexual partner about the history of our sexual activities.
c. Contraceptive protection
When doing a sexual intercourse, use a condom to protect yourselves. Remember, HPV can be transmitted through oral sex, anal sex, as well as skin contact.
The research shows that people who have been circumcised have lower HPV risk. This applies to both men and women.
e. Pap smear test
Pap smear test is a screening to examine any problem at cervical cells. This test is the best way for early detection of cervical cancer.
f. Avoid premature sexual involvement
Young people who initiate sexual intercourse at an early age are more likely than those with later sexual debuts to become infected with HPV.
g. Healthy lifestyle
Consuming low-fat meals, exercising regularly, avoiding active and passive smoking, and avoiding alcohol are the best ways to prevent HPV infection because healthy lifestyle enhances immunity and keeps the body at its prime condition.