HPV stands for human papillomavirus. HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that is passed from one person to another through sexual contact of various kinds. The virus can lay dormant and may be passed from one individual to another even if the first person doesn't know they carry the virus. There are over 100 strains of the HPV virus. When it affects the reproductive system, warts can appear on a person's genitals. The warts can appear as small bumps or as small mounds that resemble cauliflower heads. In most cases, genital warts do not cause pain or discomfort. The area around the warts may begin to itch, however.
The HPV virus is transmitted through skin to skin contact. If the infection involves the reproductive system, transmission occurs during various types of sexual activity. Vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, and oral sex are all possible ways of transmitting the human papillomavirus. It can be passed through cuts, lesions, rashes, or any type of area where the skin has been compromised. Another factor in how the HPV virus is transmitted has to do with the number of sexual partners a person has. The higher the number of partners, the higher the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease, including the HPV virus.
Spreading the HPV virus can be prevented if a person takes the proper precautions. There are two HPV vaccines that have been approved for use by the FDA. Both vaccines are designed to protect the recipient from contracting the virus. While the vaccines offer substantial protection, there are also other ways to prevent the spread of HPV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Abstinence is the most effective way to reduce a person's risk of being infected with a sexually transmitted disease. Another way is to limit the number of sexual partners. It is also important to also use condoms when necessary.
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