Can HPV affect men too? The 4 common misconceptions about the infection

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According to a survey of 1,000 Brits by LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor, we don’t know as much about HPV as we should. A staggering 89 percent of people have heard of the disease, but 71 percent don’t actually know how it can affect you. Nearly 45 percent of people didn’t even know that HPV is a sexually transmitted infection. To fix this problem, has broken down the top four misconceptions about the infection.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the name for a very common group of viruses that affect the skin.

There are more than 100 different types of the disease and it can impact your mouth, throat or genital area.

The virus is very common and most people will get some type of HPV in their life, even if they don’t have sexual contact with a lot of different people.

While HPV normally doesn’t cause any problems, it can cause genital warts and abnormal changes in the cells that can sometimes turn into cancer.

That’s why it’s so important to clear up the myths surrounding the infection so everyone can be as informed as possible.

The 4 common misconceptions about HPV

HPV is a sexually transmitted infection

Just under half of Brits didn’t realise that HPV is a sexually transmitted infection.

That’s right, you can catch it through any form of sexual intercourse or even sex toys.

The experts at LloydsPharmacy warned: “The sex doesn’t even require penetration, as skin on skin contact with another person’s genitalia can cause the virus to spread.”

There is a 20 percent probability of an HPV-infected person passing the virus to their partner if they’re in a sexual relationship for six months.

HPV isn’t harmless

HPV is mostly symptomless and you can have it for years without realising it, but it can be harmful.

The experts said: “HPV can lead to genital warts or in worse cases, cancer.

“HPV has been linked to cervical, vaginal, penile and anal cancers, to name a few.

“If you’re a woman, regular cervical screenings are incredibly important as they can ensure you are tested for HPV before it can develop into something life-threatening.”

HPV can affect all genders

More people are aware of the links to cervical cancer and HPV, so it’s commonly thought that HPV only affects women. However, that’s not the case.

There are several adverse effects for men who contract HPV.

The medical experts said: “HPV can lead to genital warts in both men and women and it has also been found to have links to cancer for men, such as penile or anal cancer, especially for men who have sex with men.

“In fact, HPV vaccinations for gay/bisexual men are available up to the age of 45 on the NHS to protect against this.”

HPV can affect all ages

A quarter of Brits don’t realise HPV can affect you no matter how old you are.

LloydsPharmacy’s team cleared the issue up, explaining HPV can affect anyone who’s sexually active no matter their age or how often they have sex.

In fact, you can have it even if you have not been sexually active or had a new partner for many years, or you can get it the first time you’re sexually active. Age is not a deciding factor in risk.

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