Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is passed through close physical contact (i.e. open-mouth kissing) or sexual activity. About 20 million Americans are currently infected with HPV, and about 6 million more become infected every year. There are many types of HPV. Some types can cause common conditions like warts, while other types can cause more serious diseases such as cancer.
Young women have been the primary target of campaigns to raise awareness about HPV because it can cause cervical cancer. But HPV can affect men as well, causing genital warts that are both unsightly and potentially painful. It can also, rarely, cause cancer. Because it is a virus, HPV cannot currently be “cured.” Once you have it, you are likely to have it for life, though there are treatments for the warts or cancers that HPV can cause.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention currently recommend that males ages 9 through 26 get vaccinated. The vaccine is given in a series of three shots over the course of eight to 12 months.
Learn more about HPV in the below video:
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