HPV FAQ: Answering 7 Most Commonly Asked Questions
In this article, you’ll learn the answers to some common HPV FAQs.
What is HPV?
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the most common STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) on this planet.
Worldwide medical researchers and esteemed health organizations have concluded that around 60 percent of the global population and at least 75 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with HPV at least once in their lifetime.
In the majority of cases, HPV is harmless and is usually treated by the immune system itself. But those cases are usually undetectable as due to zero occurrence of symptoms related to HPV, one would never visit the doctor to find out.
In slightly severe cases, a person develops genital warts on and around the genitals such as the vagina, anus, penis, and scrotum. Worst case scenario, the cells present under the skin of these genital warts go through abnormal cell growth and develop into cancer. These cancers are life-threatening and dampen sexual activity while they persist.
You may have a dozen questions regarding your worries related to the Human Papilloma Virus.
How can HPV be transferred from one person to another? Is HPV airborne? Will HPV kill you or lead to sexual disabilities? Will my children have HPV if I have HPV? Do these warts hurt in the long run?
The list of HPV FAQs can be really long. That’s why we have selected some of the best ones.
Also Read: STI Myths
HPV FAQs: All You Need to Know
1. Can HPV Be Transmitted Through The Exchange Of Saliva?
HPV can rarely be transmitted due to even a moderate exchange of saliva to a person around you, whether they or you sneeze or cough without covering your respective faces.
Keep in mind, a couple of drops or traces of saliva when dropped onto your skin due to someone else’s cold and cough may not be sufficient to contract the virus.
During sexual activity, couples kiss with intensity and go through a major exchange of saliva while exploring each other’s desires. This kind of exchange of saliva should generally not be enough to transfer the Human Papilloma Virus.
2. Can You Get HPV From Sharing A Drink?
As the Human Papilloma Virus, also known as HPV is a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), something as menial as sharing a drink will not lead to the transfer of the virus from one person to another.
Casual contact is not a mode of transfer for the virus.
In the case of women, they put on lots of lipstick. When they sip their drinks with these lips they leave a stain with bacteria stuck on to the portion of the glass for a long time. Sharing a drink with someone as such does put about a minuscule chance that either one of the two consuming the drinks will catch HPV.
3. Can You Get HPV By Using The Same Bathroom As Somebody Who Has HPV?
The Human Papilloma Virus can not be spread from one person to another due to sharing the same toilet seat, touching the doorknob, or even turning the tap for the washbasin in the washroom.
Unless and until the HPV victim has warts on their mouth, skin, or genitals and directly rubs another person’s skin, the chances of transferring HPV are ridiculously low – almost null.
Please keep in mind that HPV is unable to be spread due to brushing against hard and material surfaces, neither can it be spread through the sharing of towels and clothes.
4. How Can You Be Diagnosed With HPV And What Tests Can Be Taken?
Women are made to undergo a PAP test on their cervix and any abnormal results indicate the presence of HPV and possible cervical cancer. The cervical cells are analyzed on a microscopic level and post-studying the collected data, it becomes easier for a doctor to come to a conclusion. If cancer-causing cells are detected, then women usually have to go through a colposcopy to check for unnatural lesions on the cervix.
5. Can The HPV Vaccine Reduce The Risk Of Attaining HPV?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has advised all parents to inject their children before the age of 15 with the HPV vaccine. Ideally, 11 years is a perfect age, but before 15 years for sure. 11 and 12-year-old children require 2 doses of the vaccine spaced at 6-month intervals whereas 13 to 16-year-old children require 3 doses of the vaccine.
Once the vaccine enters the body, its elements and effectiveness gradually spread throughout the immune system.
This leads to protection from most types of HPVs and the body instantly activates the vaccine in case of sexual contact with a person who has HPV. The vaccine equips an individual with the necessary elements needed to fight off the virus, irrespective of age and gender.
Also Read: Pros And Cons Of HPV Vaccine
6. Can You Get HPV From Kissing?
This is a subjective question. Mild and generic kisses on the cheek, forehead, and hands can lead to HPV only in the rarest of rare cases. Kissing is by no means considered a common route for the transmission of HPV, although it is not a 100 percent definitive answer.
But, if 2 people kiss passionately with the tongue to tongue contact and long duration lip locks then there is an unavoidable exchange of saliva between the two of them.
This close skin contact and exchange of saliva will definitely contribute to the transmission of HPV. For this reason, most studies related to this question are focused on the French style of kissing.
7. What Will Happen If You Contract HPV?
People who develop HPV suffer from genital warts that are not painful but are ugly-looking. These genital warts can form as individual warts or a cluster of warts around the genitals – such as the penis, anus, vagina, and scrotum.
There are 2 types of HPV, one being low-risk HPV and the other being high-risk HPV. Low-risk HPV does not have long-term backdrops and the symptoms (genital warts) may not even arise in some cases. If they do arise, then the immunity system releases hormones and chemicals to fight it off and recover the natural skin structure.
High-risk HPV proves to be fatal in the longer run. Genital warts may develop and may not. Usually, under genital warts, there are cells that begin to show strange growth patterns.
When you run some tests you learn that cancer is building inside your genitals. If this condition is not treated from its initial stages then expect life-threatening consequences.
This is usually what every individual worried about contracting HPV asks doctors and healthcare providers all over the world.
Also Read: HPV And Pregnancy
Is There Any Treatment For HPV?
As far as men are considered there is no approved test for HPV as yet. But scientists are working on a process known as Anal Cytology.
A particular kind of body cell known as epithelial cells are present in the anal canal, if any abnormalities are detected among this cell constitution then they are a victim of HPV.
A water swab is inserted into the anal canal and moved in a circular direction in a gentle manner. Once this water swab is extracted, it is placed in a methanol-based preservative for maintaining its original composition and for safe transportation to various labs for testing.
Once this method is universally approved, it would be accredited as an HPV test for men by the WHO.
March 16, 2020 Sam Bell