Muhlenberg County Health Department HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Information
HPV is a common sexually transmitted disease that is transmitted through genital contact, most often during vaginal and anal sex. Some studies show that HPV may also be transmitted through oral/genital contact or hand/genital contact.
HPV is not transmitted through direct contact with toilet seats, kissing, sharing food or eating utensils, or in whirlpool or hot tubs.
Males and females can get HPV. Most people are in their late teens or early twenties when they get HPV. Women who have had other STDs (syphilis, gonorrhea, Chlamydia, or HIV) have an increased chance of getting HPV infections.
At least 50% of the sexually active people will contract HPV in their lives. Approximately 80% of these cases will resolve on their own. HPV is often contracted after one first becomes sexually active.
When the HPV virus does not go away on its own, it can develop into cervical cancer, precancerous lesions, or genital warts, depending on the HPV type.
The only certain way to prevent HPV is abstinence. It is not known how much protection condoms provide since there are areas of the genital area that are not covered by a condom. However, condom use is still encouraged as a safe sex practice as they also protect from other STDs, including HIV.
HPV vaccine is given as a 3-dose series:
1st dose - Now
2nd dose - 1-2 months after Dose 1
3rd dose - 6 months after Dose 1
Additional (booster) doses are not recommended. It is recommended for girls and boys 11-12 years of age and may be given starting at age 9. It may be given at the same time as other vaccines.
This vaccine is recommended for the following people who have not completed the 3-dose series:
Females 13 through 26 years of age.
Males 13 through 21 years of age. (It may be given to men 22-26 years of age who have not completed the 3-dose the 3 dose series).
It is recommended for men through age 26 who have sex with men or whose immune system is weakened due to HIV infection, other illness, or medications.