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In the recent several years, public health initiatives have been underway to increase public awareness of the prevalence of the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) among the sexually active population, it’s health consequences of genital warts and cervical cancer, and the recommendations for Gardasil, one the available vaccines effective in the prevention of HPV. How much do you know/understand about HPV?
Test your knowledge of HPV here, with this simple quiz:
1. Of sexually transmitted infections, the most common is:
- – HPV (the Human Papilloma Virus)
- – HSV (the Herpes Simplex Virus)
- – HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
2. The HPV virus is spread by:
- Genital contact, most commonly through sex
- Oral-genital contact
- Straight and same-sex partners
- All of the above
3. The HPV is the cause of most cases of both genital warts, and cervical cancer?
4. The majority of cases of HPV infection cause no (visible) signs of infection at all, and are cleared by our body’s own immune system?
5. The HPV is a ‘newly’ discovered virus, linked with genital warts and cervical cancer?
6. The HPV vaccines are more than 90% effective in preventing genital warts and cervical cancer in femalefemafemifemales vaccinated before their sexual debut?
(See next page for answers...)
1. HPV. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the most commonly occurring sexually transmitted infection (STI) is HPV. Nearly 3 out of 4 sexually active persons have or will be infected with this virus at some point in their lives.
2. All of the above. The HPV is most commonly spread by genital contact by vaginal or anal sex. The virus is also spread by oral-genital, and genital-to-genital contact. Both straight and same-sex partners are at risk.
4. True. Because the majority of HPV infections cause no visible symptoms, and are cleared by our body’s own immune system, many people are unaware of having had the infection.
5. False. In the medical literature, the link between the HPV and genital warts/cervical cancer has been known for decades. Increased public awareness, commercially available testing for HPV, and the HPV vaccines have been available for about the last 10 years.
6. True. The HPV vaccines are most effective in preventing genital warts and cervical cancer in young women before their sexual debut (before any possible exposure HPV.) After sexual exposure, vaccine effectiveness diminishes, but is still recommended.
Suzanne Hall, MD (@drsuzyyhall)
Eastside Gynecology Obstetrics, PC