Affecting about one in four people in the U.S., HPV is a virus that can cause cancer. Because most people never develop noticeable symptoms, it often goes undetected and can be spread to others through intimate sexual contact. For some, it can lead to health problems such as genital warts and cancer. Vaccines, however, are available and recommended for all preteen boys and girls.
Protect yourself or a loved one by learning more about HPV and the HPV vaccine. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about vaccinating your sons and daughters against HPV. The HPV vaccine is also available at the Knox County Health Department. Please call 865-215-5070 for more information.
What is HPV?
HPV is short for human papillomavirus. It is a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause skin warts and HPV-related cancers. There are many types of the virus, with the most serious causing cervical or other cancers. Nearly 80 million people – including teens – are currently infected.
Can you get rid of HPV?
There is no cure for the virus, but most HPV infections go away on their own. If it doesn’t, it can lead to other health problems, particularly among those with weakened immune systems. It could take years, however, after a person gets HPV to develop a related cancer.
What cancers are caused by HPV?
High-risk HPV infections can cause cancer. The most common is cervical cancer. Every year, about 12,000 women are diagnosed with the disease and about 4,000 die from it. Other cancers associated with HPV include cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus and oropharynx (cancers of the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils).