What is HPV?
HPV is a very common virus that can cause genital warts and many types of cancers, including:
- Cervical cancer
- Genital cancers
- Anal Cancer
- Cancer of the Reproductive tract (vulvar, vagina, penis)
- Some types of Head and neck cancers.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Without immunization it is estimated that 3 out of 4 people will be infected with HPV in their lifetime.
Most individuals infected with HPV have no symptoms. They can pass the virus on to others without even knowing it. For some individuals, infections will go away without treatment within a couple of years, but others may develop HPV-related complications such as genital warts, cervical, penile, anal, head or neck cancer. There’s no way of knowing how it will affect you. This means you could have HPV without knowing it.
How is it spread?
HPV is spread:
- By intimate skin to skin contact with someone that has HPV.
- Sexual activity including oral sex.
- If a pregnant woman has HPV, she can pass it to her newborn baby during delivery.
Here are some ways to prevent HPV:
- Get the HPV vaccine.
- Use condoms every time you have sex.
Where can I get tested?
- Sexual Health Clinic
- Family doctor
- Walk-in clinic