By DR. DRAI, OB/GYN

A NEW study published in The Journal of Sexually Transmitted Infections found that men and women who shared sex toys could also be sharing this virus, even after the toy had been cleaned properly. Approximately 79 million Americans are currently infected and about 14 million people become newly infected each year. Ninety percent of people infected with HPV will clear it from their bodies within two years.  The 10 percent with chronic infection are at the greatest risk of developing disease and cancer. Currently, there is no cure for it … so PREVENTION is the KEY!

HOW IS HPV TRANSMITTED?

HPV can be transmitted through skin-to-skin genital contact, sex- oral, vaginal, or anal AND now through shared sex toys. In pregnancy, there’s a small risk of passing HPV to your baby. Most people infected with HPV do not realize they are infected, or that they are passing HPV on to their partners. It can still be present even if years have passed since you have been in contact with an infected person.

WHAT DISEASES DOES HPV CAUSE?

Most people with it will never develop serious health problems. However, chronic HPV infections can cause genital warts, warts in the throat, and cancer of the cervix, vagina, vulva, penis, anus, and throat. Warts can develop within months of contact with an HPV infected partner, but cancer takes many years to develop.

HOW CAN YOU DECREASE YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING HPV?

  • Having only 1 partner
  • Having a partner with no or few prior sexual partners
  • Not having sex at all
  • No naked, dry humping
  • Not sharing sex toys
  • Consistent condom use during sex
  • Getting vaccinated with the HPV vaccine-Gardasil or Cervarix

Get more great advice on your lady parts at  Dr. Drai’s website.