What is Genital HPV Infection?
Genital human papillomavirus (also called HPV) is the most commonly sexually transmitted infection (STI). There are more than 40 HPV types that can infect the genital areas of male and females. These HPV types can also infect the mouth and throat. Most people become infected with HPV do not even know they have it. HPV is not the same as herpes or HIV (the virus that causes AIDS). These are all viruses that can be passed on during sex, but they cause different symptoms and health problems. HPV is the leading cause of Cervical Cancer.
How do people get HPV?
HPV is passed on through genital contact, most often during vaginal and anal sex. HPV may also be passed on during oral sex and genital-to-genital contact. HPV can be passed on between straight and same-sex-partners - even when the infected partner has no signs or symptoms. HPV is passed from skin to skin contact.
A person can have HPV even if years have passed since he or she had sexual contact with an infected person. Most infected persons do not realize they are infected or that they are passing the virus on to a sex partner. It is also possible to get more than one type of HPV.
Very rarely, a pregnant woman with genital HPV can pass HPV to her baby during delivery. In these cases, the child can develop Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP, a rare condition in which warts grow in the throat). In children, this is also referred to as juvenile-onset Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (JORRP).
“The shocking truth about HPV. Roughly 80% of people will have it in their life time, and most may never know. If left undetected, it can lead to cancer. Find out what your doctor might be missing, and the test you need to ask for”.
October 11, 2012
Episode “30 and Older: The New Faces of HPV”