Consider this…. When you sleep with a new partner, you are essentially sleeping with every partner he has ever had, as well as his partner’s partners. (If you have slept with 5 partners, and your partners have slept with 5 partners and they had 5 partners, then you are looking at a minimum of 125 people you have been exposed to). Studies have shown that within 1 year of having intercourse for the first time, approximately 30% of women will test positive for HPV. Within 3 years, this number increases to almost 50%.
What does this mean for you? A new partner=a new disease vector.
What you should know? HPV is transmitted through sexual intercourse. However, most people do not realize that it can also be transmitted through simple skin to skin contact. This means that you do not even need to have penetrative sex to get HPV. Oral or genital contact alone is enough for the transmission of HPV between partners. A person infected with HPV does not usually show any signs or symptoms and can pass on the virus unknowingly. Condoms are strongly recommended to prevent the transfer of HPV and other STI’s but they are not 100% effective.
How can you protect yourself? Make sure you have regular scheduled Pap tests and get the HPV vaccine!!
What if you don’t know what HPV is? Then you need to educate yourself FAST. Check out this link. http://hpvinfo.ca/hpvinfo/home.aspx
Check out this link to read the article “Risk of Female Human Papillomavirus Acquisition Associated with First Male Sex Partner” by our neighbors across the border: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2875685/pdf/nihms182349.pdf
Researchers at BC Women’s Hospital are dedicated to fighting against HPV and are running a number of studies looking at the vaccine’s effectiveness in various populations and ages. We are also looking at what women know about HPV and cervical cancer, Pap screening, and the vaccine. Check out our website to learn more about our research and about other HPV research being conducted by Provincial experts who have partnered with the WHRI to advance our knowledge in this important area: