Human papillomavirus (HPV infection) does not cause cancer in young girls, is transmitted not only through sex, and is successfully disarmed by strong immunity and vaccine. You can get HPV infection even with a condom, and running to be examined if you are not 25 is pointless. What really works against HPV? Is strong immunity and vaccines.
Myth № 1 – HPV has only sexual transmission
In fact, HPV is not only transmitted through sex. At present, medicine knows more than 100 types of papillomaviruses, and many of them are very easily transmitted from person to person through the skin and mucous membranes. Especially easy to pick up the virus if the skin has abrasions or inflammation.
That is, a condom will protect against HPV during sex, but not during contact with cut skin or mucous membranes. But this does not mean that a condom should not be used. It protects against sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies.
Myth № 2 – HPV will not pass itself and is very dangerous for young people
No, in the body of a healthy person with a normal immune system, the virus does not live long: from one to 4 years. HPV belongs to the so-called transient infections. These infections pass on their own, without treatment, and do not lead to serious consequences.
Thus, after the onset of sexual activity, about 80% of girls and boys become infected. But in young people, HPV is common, easily transmitted, and has very few serious consequences.
Therefore, doctors do not recommend mass testing for HPV for people under the age of 25. At this age, it makes no sense.
Myth № 3 – women do not have to be testing if they did not do so in their youth
On the contrary, HPV is less common at a more mature age, but more dangerous, especially for women. HPV can cause various changes in the tissues, if you do not notice them in time, you can skip the precancerous condition and cervical cancer.
In addition, regular (at least once a year) preventive examinations by a gynecologist will help to identify other problems with women’s health.
Myth № 4 – HPV is not curable, so it makes no sense to vaccinate adults
There is no therapy against HPV that could destroy the virus 100%. But there is a vaccine that protects against papillomaviruses, including the most aggressive types – HPV 16 and 18. It is these viruses that provoke cancer.
Ideally, it is best to get vaccinated before starting sexual life. But the vaccine is effective in any case.
Myth № 5 – if you have HPV, cancer cannot be avoided
No, cancer, especially of the cervix, is not a disease that develops in a few months or a year. Years pass from mild tissue changes to the development of severe oncology. In addition, if a doctor finds HPV in a woman, it is impossible to determine when she became infected, yesterday or 3 years ago.
Therefore, if the virus is detected, it does not mean that the woman is waiting for severe treatment or surgery. The indication for treatment or surgery is not the virus itself, but pathological changes in tissues and cells that are detected during diagnosis. And they need to be treated.
What are the symptoms of HPV?
Diagnosis will help detect papillomavirus. The most common method is a PAP test. It is also called a cervical smear (BE).
This analysis is performed during each examination by a gynecologist, so it is important not to ignore professional examinations and visit a doctor to prevent gynecological diseases.
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