a Naked Notion is featured on Twitter and on Facebook. Like and follow us for info on a range of topics pertaining to sex and sexual health.
Here’s the deal with HPV (Human Papillomavirus)—it’s about as common in our culture as reality television shows. Half of all men and more than 3 of out 4 women contract HPV at some point in their lives, most just don’t know it. Futhermore, most HPV infections go away on their own.
There are certain “high risk” types of HPV of which men should be aware of. Although guys can’t develop cervical cancer from the virus (because, well, they don’t a have cervix), a small percentage of men can develop genital warts, and an even lesser number develop penile or anal cancer.
- About 1% of sexually active men in the U.S. have genital warts at any one time. Genital warts are easily treated but can re-occur at times of low immune health.
- Each year in the U.S. there are about:
- 800 men who get HPV-related penile cancer.
- 1100 men who get HPV-related anal cancer.
Unfortunately, there is no vaccine to prevent HPV in men. BUT, there is a vaccine to prevent genital warts caused by HPV. Gardasil has been approved by the FDA for boys or men age 9 through 26.
If you or your partner test positive for HPV, you don’t need to stop having sex. By the time the virus is detected, you’ve most likely already passed it to one another.
Other HPV facts:
- If your partner “suddenly” tests positive for HPV, don’t assume they’ve been getting it on with someone else. HPV can lay dormant for a long time before rearing its ugly head.
- The risk of passing or contracting HPV is high with new partners (makes sense, right?). Wearing a condom can help, but doesn’t provide complete protection against HPV since they do not cover all genital skin.
- If your partner has visible genital warts, avoid sexual contact or use a condom at all times during the outbreak.
- Make sure you get regular Pap tests—it’s the best way to detect abnormal cells on the cervix caused by HPV.
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England’s Education Department carefully selects all weekly questions. All questions are actual inquiries made to PPNNE by college-aged students.
Do you have a question you would like to see included? Ask us anonymously!