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For Twenty Somethings

What is HPV?

HPV stands for Human Papillomavirus. It's an infection that's spread by skin-to-skin sexual contact. Eighty percent of sexually active men and women are infected with HPV at some point, frequently with no signs or symptoms.

What are the symptoms and treatment for HPV?

Often, people never know they have HPV and may pass it to a partner without realizing it. There is no treatment or cure for HPV infection, though warts and cancer caused by HPV can be treated.

How is HPV connected to Cancer?

Although many people have HPV and fight it off, sometimes it persists and causes cells to change and cancer develops. HPV is connected to cancers of the cervix, throat/tongue, penis, and anus.

What is the vaccine and who should get it?

The vaccine protects from HPV types that can cause genital warts and cancer. All males and females should receive the HPV series between ages 9-26, ideally before first sexual experience. If you are age 9-26, you should be vaccinated.

Women: How can I reduce my risk of getting cervical cancer?

  1. Get vaccinated against HPV.
  2. Know your partner's sexual history and don't smoke.
  3. Begin annual gynocological visits at age 21.
  4. Keep your Pap testing records.

Women: How often should I be screened for cervical cancer?

Start screening at age 21. Frequency of screening depends on your history of PAP smears. If you have ever had an abnormal screening, you will be followed more closely. Visit your doctor every year and keep a record of your PAP history.

Men: How can I reduce my risk of HPV-related cancer?

1. Get vaccinate against HPV.

2. Visit your dentist for regular cancer screenings.

3. Know your partner's history and don't smoke.