Human Papillomavirus Prevention
You can lower your chances of getting HPV through several methods.
Help Reduce Your Risk of Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
- Vaccines can protect against the most common types of HPV. The vaccines are administered in three doses over six months. The vaccines are most effective when you get them before your first sexual encounter. Two vaccines (Cervarix® and Gardasil®) are available and recommended for women between 11 and 26 years of age. The vaccines protect against HPV, which can cause cervical cancer. The Gardasil® vaccine can help prevent genital warts caused by HPV in women, and in men between 9 and 26 years of age.
- For WellStar patients who are already sexually active, condoms may lower the risk of HPV infection and HPV-related diseases. But HPV can infect areas not covered by a condom, so condoms are not 100 percent effective.
- You may also lower your chances of infection by limiting sexual partners, although people with even one partner can get HPV.
Tests and Screenings for Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Currently, WellStar and other health care providers routinely screen for cervical cancer. Besides visual inspections, there are no routine screening tests for other HPV-associated afflictions or cancers, but you should continue regular check-ups with your WellStar physician. Two tests can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early:
- The Pap Test or Pap Smear helps find precancers, cell changes on the cervix that may became cancerous if not treated.
- The HPV DNA Test checks for the virus itself. It has gradually gained acceptance as an additional screening tool for cervical cancer in conjunction with the Pap Test. It is used for women aged 30 years and older, and, sometimes, for men.