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HPV or the Human papillomavirus is one of the most troubling diseases of the modern age. Unfortunately, awareness of its dangers and characteristics is disturbingly low. When mentioned, most people will only be able to describe it as something to do with warts. Still, ways of contracting it and the potential dangers that it can cause on one’s organism remain mystery to great majority. Here are few things that you need to know about HPV and its prevention.
What is HPV?
HPV is a virus that causes infections in keratinocytes of the skin or mucous membranes. One of its most curious traits is the fact that in most cases HPV doesn’t cause any physical syndromes. In other, more unfortunate, cases this infection will either start causing genital warts or in some more extreme situations even genital cancers. Two types of HPV, HPV16 and HPV18 are the major cause of cervical cancer. Those alone cause the cancer of cervix in over 70% of the cases. As you can see, HPV is not a thing to be trifled with.
There are many different ways one can get HPV. First of all, if a woman in pregnancy has a HPV, there is a great chance that her child will be born with it. Another way is through blood transfusion. Although every hospital and health system have a strict policy about these things, mistakes are made. However, lapses of these proportions however can prove to be fatal for many. There are some cases, in which it was noted that HPV transmits through shared objects, but the fact is that by far the most common cause of HPV in the world is unprotected sex.
As always, the best protection is prevention. Getting a vaccine is often an effective way of fighting any disease. This method however has two setbacks. First of all, you need to take a vaccine prior to the infection and it is quite pricy. If you already have HPV there is nothing any vaccine can do to help. Second reason is a fact that HPV is not a unitary virus. There are many types and subtypes and no vaccine is effective against all of them. Still, what you can do here is get inoculated against the most dangerous types, the aforementioned HPV16 and HPV18.
Practice Safe Sex
Against any sexually transmitted disease abstinence is the best protection. This however is often not an option, so you need to start looking for the alternative. Next best solution, and probably the most obvious one is using latex-free condoms. This way, you still get to enjoy doing the things you like the most, and rest assured knowing that you are safer not only from HPV but from other STDs, as well.
Disinfect as much as you can
This can be quite tricky at times since this virus is immune to most usual disincentive products. Still, using a 90% ethanol, 2% glutaraldehyde, 30% savlon, and/or 1% sodium hypochlorite for one minute or more is bound to do the trick. Furthermore, temperatures of over 100°C and ultraviolet radiation can also successfully obliterate its dangerous pathogen.
As always, your health comes first and in this battle for the salvation of your own body, knowledge is the best ammunition. So, do your research, and take all the steps necessary to fight off this horrible affliction. Get vaccinated, use protection and take care of your personal hygiene, as well as that of your surrounding as much as possible.