What is HPV?
Many of you may have heard of the HPV virus via the internet, papers and television, but not everyone is aware of what the HPV virus actually is.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that can be sexually transmitted. There are currently over one hundred known sub types of HPV and about thirty of these sub types affect both male and female genitalia. People can be infected with conditions such as genital warts and in more serious cases cancer.
HPV can be spread through sexual skin-to-skin contact. This means that penetration is not required to be infected by the virus. Vaginal and anal intercourse are also methods of HPV transmission. You can contract HPV from having oral sex, however it is less common.
Symptoms and detecting HPV
Detecting HPV can be difficult as in many cases there aren’t any symptoms. In some cases a person may show symptoms by developing genital warts. This may not occur in all people who are carrying the HPV virus as genital warts are just one strand of the infection. Some people may be affected by this strand of HPV for many years before displaying genital warts and some may never contract them at all. Detecting HPV can therefore be very difficult as symptoms are few and far between.
Women who are infected with the strand of the HPV virus which is connected to cervical cancer do not usually experience symptoms at all. A cervical smear is a very useful way to detect abnormal cervical changes caused by HPV.
Safe effective vaccinations against HPV should ideally be performed before a girl is sexually active. There is a nationwide screening program that should be offered through schools however if you or your daughter would like to discuss this further please do not hesitate to contact us.
Types of vaccinations available include Gardisil & Cervarex
Full Sexual health screening
Mr Downes offers a full sexual health screening and this includes:
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C