How can I get HPV?
Do I really need a vaccine to prevent it?
What are the symptoms of HPV?
Can I get HPV if I’m monogamous?
Is there a cure?
HPV is a topic that many teenagers are familiar with, but often only on a surface level. They’ve probably heard of HPV and know that it can be contracted through sexual intercourse. Beyond that introductory scope, however, knowledge of the human papilloma virus (HPV) is thin.
As sexual health educators, PGOMG works with teenagers and their parents to make sure they are aware of the risk factors associated with HPV and how to prevent the virus with its vaccine, Gardasil.
- Men and women can contract the virus. Because of this, Gardasil is recommended for both men and women.
- Gardasil is safe. You will not contract the human papilloma virus if you receive the vaccine.
- Gardasil does not replace the need for a condom during sexual intercourse. It does not protect against pregnancy and it does not protect against other sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia or HIV/AIDS.
- HPV does not typically display visible symptoms—it is known to be an asymptomatic condition. Most people who have the human papilloma virus will not know. However, patients can develop genital warts in some cases.
- There is currently no cure for HPV. Should a patient exhibit genital warts, your provider can offer options to remove them.
- Condoms may not be enough to protect against the human papilloma virus on their own, as they do not cover the entire genital area. This is why the vaccine is recommended.
- Even if you are not sexually active or currently sexually active, Gardasil is recommended as a preventative measure.
- Young men and women (starting at age 11 or 12) can receive Gardasil, though most teenagers receive the vaccine when they are between 16 and 18.
- Gardasil does not encourage sexual activity; it simply protects against HPV.
- Contraception such as the birth control pill, an IUD, or implant will not provide protection against HPV or any other STD. These forms of contraception only work to prevent pregnancy.
Make an appointment to receive the HPV vaccine Gardasil at PGOMG.