HPV is a very common sexually transmitted infection, in fact; it is the most common one in the United States. Most men and women who are sexually active will get it at some point in their lives.
HPV is spread through sex, whether vaginal, or oral, by having sex with someone who is infected. You do not always develop symptoms right away as it could take years to experience any symptoms making it difficult to know who transmitted the infection to you.
Usually you will not experience any symptoms, however; some people develop genital warts. Also when a woman gets an abnormal pap test result during cervical cancer screening she may find out that she has HPV. Unfortunately, some people do not find out until they develop cancer.
Even though there is no treatment for the actual virus, it can be prevented by getting vaccinated at 11 or 12 years old through age 26 for females. Genital warts can be treated as well as cervical pre-cancer if women are disciplined about getting routine pap tests.
Anthony C. Quartell, MD & Associates serves Livingston, N.J., Millburn, N.J., West Orange, N.J., Verona, N.J., Caldwell, N.J., Florham Park, N.J., Whippany, N.J., East Hanover, N.J. and surrounding areas.