Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), Cancer, and HPV Vaccines : Frequently Asked Questions
- Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
- What is HPV?
- How do you get genital HPV?
- How common is HPV? Who gets it?
- What are the symptoms of HPV?
- Can HPV be treated?
- Can HPV be prevented?
- What are the risk factors for genital HPV?
- HPV and cancer
- What about other HPV-related diseases?
- Testing for HPV
- If you test positive for HPV, what does it mean?
- Will HPV affect my pregnancy or my baby?
- Why should women over age 30 with normal test results change to co-testing every 5 years and start doing HPV testing? Is that safe?
- HPV vaccines
- Who should be vaccinated and when?
- What are the benefits of the vaccines?
- How much do the HPV vaccines cost? Are they covered by health insurance plans?
- Do you need to be tested for HPV before getting the vaccine?
- Do women and girls who have been vaccinated still need Pap tests?
- Can cervical cancer be prevented without a vaccine?
- Is the American Cancer Society in favor of vaccinating against HPV?
- Do you want more information?
What are the risk factors for genital HPV?
Risk factors for women
- Having many sex partners
- Having a partner who has had many partners
- Being younger than 25 years of age
- Starting to have sex at an early age (16 years or younger)
- Having a male partner who is not circumcised (having had the foreskin of the penis removed).Men who have not been circumcised are more likely to be infected with HPV and pass it on to their partners. The reasons for this are unclear.
Risk factors for men
- Having many sex partners.
- Not being circumcised (having had the foreskin of the penis removed). Men who are circumcised have a lower chance of getting and staying infected with HPV. Men who have not been circumcised are more likely to be infected with HPV and pass it on to their partners. The reasons for this are unclear. And circumcision does not completely protect against HPV infection – men who are circumcised can still get HPV and pass it on to their partners.
Last Medical Review: 05/02/2013
Last Revised: 05/02/2013