Why should a person know about HPV? Today, HPV is the most common (STI) in the United States. There are more than 40 types, that can be acquired through vaginal, oral, anal, and skin-to-skin contact.
Research as of late shows that about half of men in the United States have active genital Human Papillomavirus, commonly called HPV. This same study notes that nine in ten men who are eligible for the vaccine are not getting it.
This virus is so important to be aware of because while it causes very few issues early, later on, it can cause six or more different types of cancer- to name a few: cervical, anal, penile, genital, oral, head, and neck cancers. Genital warts are another unfavorable consequence of catching this virus. Finally, the highest-risk types of HPV for causing cancer often present no warning signs or symptoms at all.
1. Skin to skin contact
Not many things are quite as contagious as the prevalent and prevailing HPV STI. Contraction of HPV can only be controlled through abstinence. Monogamy is helpful at reducing risk. Condoms can help to reduce risk, but they are not 100% effective since HPV is spread through skin to skin contact.
One recent study showed that young individuals who recently began to engage in sexual activity had a 70% lower chance of HPV infection with 100% condom use, compared to those who used condoms less than 5% of the time. There is a chance that the body’s immune system can suppress the virus, but, it may lie dormant and pop up later on in life.
The American Cancer Society estimated that in 2017 about 2,100 men would be diagnosed with penile cancer and about 3,000 with anal cancer. According to the CDC, penile cancer screening tests are not available currently.