HPV – Human Papillomavirus
Human Papillomavirus, also known as HPV, is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. There are 79 million infected with HPV, and the majority are in their late teens to early 20s. It is imperative to understand the dangers of HPV and to know what you can do to prevent it, as well as to receive an STD test if you are, or have ever been sexually active.
Statcare Urgent Care & Walk-In Medical Care offers your STD test in New York. We are available 7 days a week, with no need to make an appointment, so that you can receive your confidential testing at your convenience.
How is HPV spread?
As a sexually transmitted infection, HPV is spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex with a partner that is infected with the virus. It is important to realize that a person can have HPV and not realize it, due to the fact that HPV often presents itself with no symptoms.
What sorts of health problems does HPV cause?
Often HPV will run its course free of symptoms and go away on its own. The person may never know that they were infected and may never have any problems. It’s important to realize though, that during the time of unknowingly being infected, they were likely spreading the infection to others.
Other people do have symptoms and health problems from the infection. In fact, it can cause very serious issues such as genital warts and even cancer.
Genital Warts –
If an HPV infection presents with genital warts, you will notice a small bump or group of bumps in the genital area. Bumps can be shaped like cauliflower, large, small, raised, or flat.
Cervical cancer, as well as cancer of the penis, anus, vulva, and vagina, can be caused by HPV. It can also cause cancer in the back of the throat, tonsils, and the back of the tongue. It can take years for cancer to develop from HPV, and there is no way to tell how HPV will affect each person.
The HPV infection that causes cancer is likely different from the one that causes genital warts. It is also highly likely that the health condition of each infected person is part of what makes them more susceptible to having symptoms and developing issues such as cancer or genital warts.
How can I prevent HPV?
There are a number of things that you can do in order to lower your risk of contracting HPV.
Get the HPV vaccine
This safe and effective vaccine is recommended at ages 11-12 and up to age 26. Those who have not yet received the HPV vaccine can get it up through age 45. While it may not be as effective for those 27-45, it can still be beneficial. The decision to receive the HPV vaccine at a later age should be made between patient and doctor.
The CDC-recommended HPV vaccine can protect against cancer and other conditions caused by HPV. The vaccine is your best defense against HPV and the health problems associated with the infection.
Get your HPV vaccine at Statcare Urgent Care and Walk-In medical care. Your privacy and health are our priority, so walk-in to get your vaccine today.
Use safe sex practices if you are sexually active
If you are sexually active, make sure that you use latex condoms properly every time you have sex. Condoms lower your chances of contracting HPV but are not entirely effective as they don’t cover every area that can be infected with the virus.
It is also best to be in a monogamous relationship and only have sex with one partner that is only having sex with you. This will prevent you or your partner from contracting the infection from someone else and passing it on.
Get screened for cervical cancer
For women, HPV is tested when a Pap Smear is done. Routine screening is recommended for women aged 21-65.
Most people infected with HPV do not experience symptoms and never know of their infection. Often people only find out they are infected with HPV when they develop genital warts, cancer, or receive an abnormal pap smear from their cervical cancer screening.
For men, we can do an anal swab to test for HPV.