How to Prevent Transmitting HPV

Human papilloma virus (HPV) describes more than 100 strains of infection, of which around 30 are considered to be sexually transmitted. Some of the strains may cause genital warts, while other "high risk" strains may lead to cervical cancer or have no symptoms or signs at all. The only way to avoid transmitting HPV is to avoid sexual contact with others while infected.

Instructions

  1. Prevent Transmitting HPV to Others

    • 1

      Take care of your health if you have been diagnosed with HPV. A strong, healthy immune system can lead the HPV virus to become inactive. Recurrences of genital warts are also less frequent with overall good health.

    • 2

      Speak to your partner about HPV, your symptoms (if any) and the possibility of transmitting the virus. Most people will need some time to digest the information before the two of you can make choices about sex together.

    • 3

      Practice safe sex by using a condom. HPV is not prevented by other birth control methods, and it can also be transmitted through oral and anal sex (as well as vaginal sex). In fact, genital warts that are not covered by the condom may still be transmitted to the partner.

    • 4

      Prevent transmitting HPV completely by abstaining from sex. This is really the only way to ensure you will not infect your partner. Find other ways to express intimacy during a genital wart outbreak or until your doctor lets you know the HPV is no longer detected.

    Avoid Becoming Infected with HPV

    • 5

      Have an HPV vaccination to help prevent the high-risk strains of HPV. The vaccine prevents young girls and women from contracting the four strains of HPV that may lead to cervical cancer. It does not, however, treat HPV or cervical cancer.

    • 6

      Avoid any sexual contact with a partner that has visible genital warts, which are highly contagious. You do not have to have sex to contract warts, there just needs to be contact.

    • 7

      Visit the Center for Disease Control website to learn more about preventing and avoiding a HPV infection (see Resources below).

Tips & Warnings

  • It is perfectly normal for your partner to react negatively to the news that you have a sexually transmitted infection. Let him know that HPV is common and visit the various resources online to research the virus together.
  • You can contract more than one strain of HPV. As such, having the virus will not protect you from being infected by your partner.
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