Eighty percent of sexually active women may be affected by the human papillomavirus (HPV). As an HPV expert, Myles Kobren, MD with offices in Syosset and Whitestone, New York, knows how to diagnose and treat the infection. If you have HPV or want to get tested, call Dr. Kobren’s office today, or book an appointment online.
HPV is a sexually transmitted virus. It’s transmitted through vaginal and anal intercourse. The virus can also be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. It isn’t a new virus, but it isn’t as widely known as other sexually transmitted infections.
Anyone who’s had sexual intercourse can contract HPV. It’s common for people who have multiple partners or an intimate partner with a history of multiple partners.
You may not know if you have HPV. There are over 100 different strains of HPV, and not all of them show signs. Some strains cause genital warts and some cause cancer.
Currently, the only test available for HPV is for women over age 30. It tests for the HPV strain that may lead to cervical cancer.
There’s no cure for HPV. And in many cases, the infection clears up before you show any signs or know you have it.
If you’ve contracted the HPV strain that causes genital warts, Dr. Kobren can remove them. The strain of HPV that causes genital warts doesn’t lead to cancer.
But even if the warts are removed, you can still pass the virus on to other people. If you decide not to treat genital warts, they may disappear on their own, get larger, or shrink.
If you’ve tested positive for the strain of HPV linked to cancer, Dr. Kobren will closely monitor for cervical cell changes with regular Pap smears. The Pap smear test is highly sensitive to cell changes. Early detection can prevent cervical cancer.
There is a vaccine for HPV that might protect you against the HPV strains that cause certain diseases such as cancer.
If you’re concerned about contracting HPV, there are additional steps you can take to protect yourself including:
Although condoms are protective against numerous sexually transmitted infections, it isn’t known if they protect against HPV.