By Natan Schleider, M.D. Written January 14th, 2020 3 MINUTE READ
Basic Facts About Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Disease in the USA as of 2020:
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States infecting 1 in 4 Americans (79 million of the infected based on USA population of 330 million in 2020). This virus likes grows in skin cells where sexual contact has occurred and condoms do not prevent it. While causing a bunch of different cancers like Cervical Cancer, Anal Cancer, and Mouth (Oropharyngeal), it far more commonly causes little painless fleshy bumps called warts.
While ‘painless’ in that warts do not hurt physically, the look at you (former) new partner’s face running out the door after seeing your wart hurts. Getting the wart removed by the doctor also hurts and they can be stubborn and grow back.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU OR YOUR PARTNER HAVE HPV:
HPV infection may not be obvious to the naked eye (nor obvious to the infected patient which is why doctor do PAP smears and HPV DNA tests during women’s health exams) sitting dormant for months to years until causing a wart or cancer, it is difficult to know whether your partner carries HPV. By the way, there is no test to confirm skin infection of HPV in men, at least nothing done routinely. We do not swab or scrape a man’s genital region to look for HPV infection, If anyone reading this wants to know why, contact me.
While the HPV vaccine better known as Gardasil has been recommended since 2006 for ages 11-26, now all men and women should consider it so….
Five Reason to Consider the HPV Gardasil Vaccine If You Have Never Been Vaccinated:
- You are sexually active and your partner is infected with HPV.
- You want to reduce your risk of getting HPV infection and are open to vaccination
- While considered about the risks of safety of any vaccine, 8-10 years of data not only in adults (more in children) show no evidence of any long term disease or risks of the vaccine.
- You do not like cancer.
- You have not figured out a clever, cool way to ask prospective or current sexual partners about HPV infection–if there is one?
Given this new information, I will be contacting my doctor for the Gardasil vaccine and will keep you posted. Thanks for reading.
Oshman LD, Davis AM. Human Papillomavirus Vaccination for Adults: Updated Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). JAMA. Published online January 13, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.18411