5 new things you need to know about HPV

- Dr. Alyssa Dweck, OBGYN is the author of the new book, "The A to the Z for your V," and a full-time practicing OB/GYN. There is so much new information coming out about HPV.

Dr. Dweck shared the 5 new things you need to know, and answers the important questions people are afraid to ask.

1. The newest vaccine for HPV protects against 9 common strains of the virus

2. There are hundreds of HPV strains, some more apt to be associated with cervical cancer and other cancers; some cause warts

3. HPV screening shouldn’t start until age 30 for most women unless there is an individual indication for need to do earlier

4. HPV can lay dormant in your system and then reactivate under times of stress or illness

5. HPV is transmitted via skin-to-skin contact (as opposed to bodily fluids like blood or semen for example) That is a big deal - even with condom use you can still get HPV.

What can you do?

Educate. Learn how HPV is transmitted and how to cut down risk.

Vaccinate. If you want to - it's optional. Most OB-GYN's take the approach of an anti-cancer vaccine (cervical). HPV is linked to anal cancers, mouth cancers and cervical and penile cancer. Young people getting this vaccine don't have more sex - it's optional for prevention. There are those that are against vaccinations.  Series of 2-3 shots depending on age.

Don't Assume. Positive Test - estimates that upwards of 80 percent of women ever sexually active have been exposed to HPV. You can be positive and then it goes in a dormant state. So this might mean that you have reactivated it from the dormant state.  Don't automatically assume partner cheats because HPV lays dormant in most women.  There are women that have not had intercourse that has been exposed to HPV. It has been found on gym equipment i.e. spin seats, medical instruments etc - it's not a typical way of transmission

Do you vaccinate kids? Standard vaccinating age is 9-26 for boys and girls. OBGYN’s and pediatricians typically suggest the vaccine before sexual debut.

If you been diagnosed with HPV what do you do first?  First, Don't panic!  Get information on what you have been diagnosed with and what are the implications for further testing and follow up (there are many different strains and different implications depending on age, pap smear results and individual medical history). 

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