1. HPV stands for human papillomavirus.
2. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection.
3. There are around 79 million people infected with HPV in the United States.
4. Which means that 1 in 4 Americans are HPV carriers.
5. About 90% of men and 80% of women will be infected with HPV at some point in their lives if they are sexually active. But most will clear the infection on their own without treatment, usually within one to two years.
6. There are over 200 related viruses classified as human papillomaviruses, and most are low-risk.
7. Nearly all cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV.
8. The infection is usually spread through sexual contact.
9. Some types of HPV can cause warts in or on the genitals or anus, which look like bumps or small bumps, or might be cauliflower-like in appearance.
10. But you probably won’t know you have HPV just by looking. Most HPV types, including the ones most likely to cause cancer, may not cause any symptoms at all.
11. The high-risk viruses can be detected with an HPV test, which picks up signs of viral DNA. But not everyone with the virus will develop cancer or have other health problems. In women, a Papanicolaou test, or Pap smear, can detect precancerous changes in the cervix caused by the virus.
12. Condoms can help prevent HPV from spreading when used properly, but they aren't always effective.
13. There are several different HPV vaccines, which can prevent infection with some of the most common cancer- and wart-causing HPV types.
14. Most health insurance policies cover the HPV vaccine, and there are programs that can help uninsured individuals get the vaccine for low or no cost.
This post was translated from Portuguese.