Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a tricky infectious disease. The virus can be spread through skin-to-skin sexual contact, meaning that no exchange of bodily fluids is needed to contract it. The virus is so common that about 80% of sexually active people have it. And about four strands are associated with several types of cancer and genital warts. In most cases, HPV doesn’t show symptoms, and it is unlikely to cause serious health consequences.

MORE: Debunking Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Myths!

Completely preventing the transmission of HPV between sexual partners may seem impossible but there are certain measures you can take to reduce the risk of contracting it.

  1. Practice Safe Sex: Although condoms do not cover all the genital area, studies have shown that engaging in safe sexual intercourse cuts the risk of contracting HPV by almost 70%. Keep in mind that any type of sexual contact can put you at risk for contracting the virus.
  2. Limit the number of sexual partners: Having more sexual partners may increase your chances of contracting HPV.
  3. Get the HPV Vaccine: The vaccine protects against the four HPV strains most commonly associated with genital warts and cancer. However, it doesn’t provide protection against the other hundred or so strains out there.

Women’s Health Care Research is currently seeking volunteers to participate in an HPV research study. Those who qualify will receive study-related care and medication, gain a better understanding of the condition and may receive compensation for time and travel. If you are sexually active and would like to learn more about the virus and your HPV status, click the button below.

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