STD: Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is considered the most commonly seen sexually transmitted infection according to the CDC. More than 40 types of the virus are passed on through sexual contact, which can all carry varying degrees of symptoms for men and women. More than six million Americans are infected with HPV each year, according to the CDC.
Typical symptoms: Most men who are infected with HPV never develop any symptoms but those who do often have genital warts on the pen.s, test_icles, groin, thighs or in and around the anus. The warts may appear within weeks or months after sexual contact with an infected person.
Keep in mind: You can still have HPV years after having s.x with an infected partner. Some types of HPV can cause cancer of the pen.s, anus or back of the throat. A relatively new vaccine can help prevent HPV infection, when given before a person is sexually active. The CDC recommends the vaccine for preteen girls and boys at age 11 or 12, as well as teens and young men through age 21. The vaccine is also recommended for gay and bisexual men.
If you are sexually active there are several ways you can avoid or limit your chances of contracting these common sexually transmitted infections:
- Limit your sexual activity with only one unaffected partner in a mutually monogamous relationship – if you need communicate with your partner about getting tested together for these infections before you proceed with sexual intercourse with one another.
- Use sexual protection – condoms
- Get vaccinated if available for certain conditions
Speak with your doctor further about ways you can become disease free from sexually transmitted infections. If you do have symptoms pop up, be sure to openly communicate about those symptoms at your next appointment. Catching STD’s early can mean having—or not having—a healthy and long-term s.x life.