to Prevent HPV Transmission
How is HPV transmitted?
- Skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. Sexual
penetration is not needed to be infected; any sexual
or genital contact with an HPV carrier has the risk
- Through vaginal, anal or oral sexual intercourse.
Wearing a condom only offers partial protection.
- Kissing someone who has given oral sex to an infected
- In very rare cases, an infected mother can pass
the virus to her baby during a vaginal delivery.
Who is most at risk of being infected with
How do you prevent HPV transmission?
- Everyone who is sexually active whether they have
intercourse or not.
- Men and women who start having sex at an early age.
- Men and women up to the age of 26 to 30. The incidence
of new HPV infections diminishes with age.
- People who practise unprotected sex. It has been
shown that always using a condom reduces the risk
of HPV infection by up to 70%.
- People who have multiple sexual partners or regular
one night stands.
The only way to be absolutely certain you will never
get infected with HPV is to avoid all sexual contact,
but as most people agree that this is very unrealistic,
let's look at some ways to reduce the risk of you being
- Avoid one night stands.
- Avoid having multiple sexual partners. A monogamous
couple greatly reduces their risk of HPV infection;
however, your one partner might have had multiple
partners before you came along. Even if one or both
of the monogamous couple have a strain of HPV, they
are not at risk of getting another, possibly more
- Smoking and consuming alcohol regularly increase
your risk of getting HPV, so quit.
- Stress weakens your immune system so learn ways
to deal with stressful situations and take regular
time-out for relaxation.
- Female condoms offer better HPV protection than
- The HPV vaccine is recommended for girls aged 9
to 12, before they become sexually active. Even older
women may get some protection from the vaccine, provided
they have not already been infected with the HPV strains
the vaccine targets. Not all HPV strains are targeted
by the vaccine, just the ones that can lead to cervical
and other genital cancers. One brand also protects
against genital warts, though these do not lead to
cancer. An HPV vaccine for men is still being developed.
- Strengthen your immune system so that it is better
able to deal with viral infections, including HPV.
Eat a nutritionally-balanced diet, focusing on fresh
fruit and vegetables, lean meat, low fat dairy, whole
grains, seeds, nuts and legumes. Get sufficient sleeps
and R and R. Get regular exercise – 30 minutes
on most day of the week is a good start. Avoid or
limit fast food, processed food and sugary foods.
- Education on the subject of HPV and how it is transmitted
is vital, especially for teens who are just starting
out on their sexual journeys. Understanding how the
virus is spread and eliminating the old wives tales
and taboos around the subject will help to prepare
young people, helping them reduce the risk of HPV