Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
- Group of viruses with different effects on body
- Some not harmful; others can lead to abnormal cervical changes, cervical, vaginal, vulvar, penile and anal cancers and genital warts
Signs and Symptoms
- Many people have no symptoms
- Passed from one person to another through direct skin contact (mostly sexual contact)
- Body’s immune system
- Medication for genital warts
- Pap test
- Detect early cervical abnormalities caused by HPV
- Consult your doctor to discuss your choices
While a HPV infection usually goes away on its own, depending on the type you have a chance of developing cervical or genital cancers, cervical abnormalities, or genital warts.
- Condom use (offer some protection but HPV may still be present on other uncovered skin)
- HPV vaccine
- Pap test as recommended by your health care professional
Who should get the HPV vaccine?
- The HPV vaccine is recommended for girls and women between the ages of 9 and 45, and for boys and men between the ages of 9 and 45
- It is best to get the vaccine before becoming sexually active, because it will only protect against type(s) of HPV that you do not already have
- If you are already sexually active you can still get the vaccine, but you may already have a type(s) of HPV
This information is for general knowledge only and does not replace professional medical advice. For STI testing or more information, contact our confidential sexual health clinic at 519-753-4937 ext. 471.