Protect Yourself from HPV

Protect yourself from HPV

At some point, most sexually active people will be infected with human papillomavirus or HPV. There are over 100 types of HPV, and most of the time the body eliminates infections without symptoms— but some strains can pose serious health risks down the line. How can you protect yourself from HPV?

We share a video in TED-Ed where Emma Bryce explains how the virus causes harm, who’s at risk and how to minimize those risks.

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HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). HPV is a different virus than HIV and HSV (herpes).

Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes cervical cancer, which is the second most common cancer in women in the Philippines, and the fourth most common worldwide.

Although most infections with HPV cause no symptoms, persistent genital HPV infection can cause cervical cancer in women. Up to 99.7% of all cervical cancer cases are linked to genital infection with HPV and is the most common viral infection of the reproductive tract. Other types of cancer associated with HPV include anal cancer, penile cancer, vulvar cancer, and oropharyngeal carcinomas.

So, how can you protect yourself from HPV?

Presently, there are three HPV vaccines marketed in many countries throughout the world – CERVARIX – a bivalent, GARDASIL – a quadrivalent, and GARDASIL-9, a nonavalent vaccine. All three vaccines are highly efficacious in preventing infection with virus types 16 and 18, which are together responsible for approximately 70% of cervical cancer cases globally. The vaccines are also highly efficacious in preventing precancerous cervical lesions caused by these virus types. The quadrivalent vaccine is also highly efficacious in preventing anogenital warts, a common genital disease that is virtually always caused by infection with HPV types 6 and 11. The nonavalent provides additional protection against HPV types 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58. Data from clinical trials and initial post-marketing surveillance conducted on several continents show all three vaccines to be safe.

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