Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases and there are several types that could affect the genital area (vulva, vagina, anus, penis), mouth and throat. However, it is very easy to prevent because there is a vaccine that can be applied to girls and boys at the age of 9 years.
When it comes to illness, there will always be myths and taboos related to the subject. That's why specialists from The League Against Cancer solves the most common myths about this virus.
1. Only women get HPV
False! Men may also suffer from the human papillomavirus because it is estimated that most sexually active men and women will have this infection at some point in their lives.
2. Only women can be vaccinated against HPV
False! The vaccine is recommended for children aged 9 years. Dosages should be applied as follows: girls and boys aged 9 to 14; by applying 2 doses of 6 months and men and women from 15 years of age and over; applying 3 doses, the second dose 2 months after the first and third doses were administered 4 months after the second dose.
3. There is only one type of HPV
False! There are more than 100 types whose strains 16 and 18 are considered to be high risk, representing 70% of the cases of cervical cancer, which is the leading cause of cancer death in women in Peru. In addition, these strains can cause vulvar, anal and vaginal cancer, and even other strains, such as 6 and 11, are responsible for 90% of the genital warts.
4. The HPV vaccine advances the onset of sexual activity
False! The vaccine only protects the faces against the human papilloma virus. Starting the girl's sexual activity will depend on the information received from parents, school and community.
5. HPV means I have cancer
False! Having the human papilloma virus does not necessarily mean you develop cancer. This is because not all virus strains are carcinogenic.
6. HPV has symptoms
False! Most people infected with HPV have no symptoms. Thus, those affected do not have serious health problems; As mentioned earlier, the only manifestations of HPV (which are not always present) are genital warts and some cancers.