#1 The Condom Misconception – But condoms have one huge failing that often goes overlooked: they can’t fully protect against the Human papillomavirus, better known as HPV. It doesn’t sound pretty, it doesn’t look pretty, and especially for women, HPV is a silent killer that can lie dormant for years unnoticed before it strikes.
#2 The HPV Nightmare – HPV is the most commonly transmitted STI in the United States. It’s actually a catchall category for nearly 150 strains of similar viruses, many of which cause nasty looking warts.
#3 A Prolific Virus – HPV is so common, almost all sexually active men and women contract it at some point in their lives. The virus is spread by intimate skin-to-skin contact, meaning that anywhere two bodies touch, HPV can be spread—which makes condoms only somewhat effective in preventing it.
#4 Contracting the Virus – HPV can be passed from person to person, even when the infected individual has no signs or symptoms of the virus. It can take years for any symptoms show up after being infected with HPV, and some people never experience any symptoms at all.
#5 Ties to Cancer – HPV is none too pretty to look at, but for women especially, the virus can prove deadly. It’s closely tied to cervical cancer, which is a leading killer of women. Two types of the virus, HPV types 16 and 18, account for nearly 70% of all cervical cancer cases.
#6 Danger to Women – Women are also at a much higher risk of contracting the virus than men. Male-to-female transmission has a 5% higher rate of occurrence than female-to-male transmission.