I am a little confused on HPV. I have never ever had sex or sexual contact with anyone (I'm a virgin). I was told that the "majority of people" ... let's say, 60% + have HPV. HPV is known to cause warts whether genital or not. Now, is the "majority" for SEXUALLY ACTIVE people or just PEOPLE in general? Because it makes sense that most people will become sexually active in their lifetimes.
Now my Q is:
-Is HPV transmitted only through sexual contact? If not, it could explain that maybe why "everyone or supposedly everyone" has HPV because of the many types of the HPV (warts as a sign)....
-Is the vaccine really needed if you know for *absolute sure* that you will only have sex with an STI-free person? Meaning, is there another slight chance of contacting HPV either through pregnancy (born with it), or just touching something else? Or say something like receiving a kiss as a child from a relative on the cheek with HPV?
-So... does everyone actually have/will have HPV?
-What is the diagnosis for general HPV, not genital warts or something sexual?
As you can see, I'm quite confused about HPV in general. There's lots of weird and strange, and utmost contradicting information on the internet--so I have come here to get some further, hopefully accurate, and a clear explanation. Thanks.
I'm not sure you're ever going to get an 100% accurate answer to your questions. Partly because the medical community just doesn't have all the statistics. There numbers are estimates, and not all forms of HPV are tracked.
I remember one doc I had saying something like "the 75% number is for all people. It's more like 99% for sexually active people" (multiple partners over time).
Also, IMO, there are 3 'groups' of HPV. One group is the type that causes visible genital warts. NO ONE wants that type, for obvious reasons. The second group would be the kind that causes cervical changes/cancer - no one wants that either. The third group is the type that causes warts elsewhere on the body, that nobody seems to care about (hands, feet, legs, arms... basically anywhere but the genitals).
The vaccine only works against 4 strains - 2 strains that cause the most common genital warts, 2 strains that cause the worst cervical cancer.
Basically, if you look at ALL strains of HPV, the answers to you questions would be different than if you were only looking for specific strains.
My last comment is that there is no way you can "know for *absolute sure* that you will only have sex with an STI-free person". There is no HPV test for men, and the carrier might genuinely have no idea he has it. The only way to be 100% sure if if the person has never ever touched another person in his life. Hard to imagine... Basically, accept that there is a small change of getting it even from one partner. Just be careful, behave responsibly, etc., etc.
I was under the impression that the vaccine was only for a couple of the strains that cause cervical cancer, didn't know they were effective against the strains that cause genital warts also.
Just curious about the vaccine...
If you have already had a strain that causes genital warts, will the vaccine prevent any other warts from appearing if the virus becomes active again? Or would it only be effective in people that do not have the virus at all?
Last edited by xtrish2002; 10-23-2006 at 12:56 PM.
As far as I know, the current vaccine is for the 4 as I mentioned. They are working on/proposing a vaccine for just the 2 strains that cause the most/worst cervical cancer. (There are differing opinions on whether it's worth the $$ for the 2 that prevent genital warts vs the cancer-preventing ones.) Maybe this new one is out already?