The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted virus. There are over 100 known strains of HPV, which can be all spread through skin-to-skin contact. This usually means that penetration isn’t required to contract the virus, though vaginal and anal intercourse are also means of HPV transmission. You might also contract HPV through oral sex, although this is not as common.
Human papillomavirus is usually asymptomatic, though some men and women who contract certain strains of HPV can develop genital warts. As there are no symptoms, a normal Pap smear is vital for detecting any abnormal cervical changes brought on by HPV in women.
Is HPV Hereditary?
The simple answer is no. HPV is spread through skin-to-skin contact and is not transmitted through genetics. It follows that even if your biological mom and dad have HPV, you aren’t destined to have it due to your inherited enzymes.
While HPV is not hereditary, meaning it is not genetically passed from parent to child, it may be passed from mother to child during childbirth. Nonetheless, this is an uncommon event.
How Can I Prevent Human Papillomavirus?
Human papillomavirus is a really common virus. It’s estimated that over 20 million Americans are infected with HPV, lots of whom show no symptoms, which makes it the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI).
The only guaranteed way of preventing HPV is through complete abstinence from all sexual contact, however for most adults, this is an unrealistic prevention strategy.
HPV is very tough to stop because no penetration is necessary to transmit the virus, only particular types of skin-to-skin contact.
While research has shown that proper use of condoms does provide some protection against human papillomavirus during penetration, there is still a chance of transmission because parts of the genitalia remain vulnerable.
The FDA-approved HPV vaccine, Gardasil, is also a way of preventing HPV for those who fit the standards of the perfect candidate. The vaccine has been demonstrated effective against four strains of HPV known to cause cervical cancer and genital warts in women. In women and men, it’s been demonstrated to protect against HPV-related instances of anal cancer.
Getting vaccinated against HPV, limiting the number of sexual partners you have in your lifetime, and using a condom every time you have sex are excellent ways to reduce your chance of contracting HPV.
At this time, there are just two HPV proven prevention approaches: abstinence and the HPV vaccine. There are other approaches to help reduce your risk of developing HPV.
You will find over 100 different strains of HPV, and approximately 30 of those strains affect both female and male genitalia, causing ailments like genital warts and, even more critically, cancer.
HPV is a term used to encompass over 100 distinct breeds of the human papillomavirus.
A few of these strains cause genital warts and some are known to cause cervical cancer.