HPV is so common that nearly every sexually active adult will contract it in their lifetime. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 79 million Americans are currently affected by HPV, with about 14 million people contracting it every year [1].

Some of the most common ways you can get HPV include:

  • Skin to skin contact in the genital area
  • Oral sex
  • Sharing sex toys

See also: What Is HPV? A Guide To The Human Papillomavirus



Ways you can get HPV


HPV occurs when the virus enters your body through a cut, abrasion or small tear in the skin [2]. It’s primarily transferred through skin to skin contact with a person who has the virus and some of the most common transfer methods include:


Skin to skin contact in the genital area


The most common way of contracting HPV is through vaginal or anal sex. It can be passed from men to women, women to men, men to men and women to women - so, practically anyone can pass the virus on to their partner.

You can reduce your risk of contracting and/or spreading HPV in a few ways, these include:

  • Using condoms properly
  • The HPV vaccine

See also: Why is it important to check for HPV?


Oral sex


Oral HPV is transmitted to the mouth by oral sex. Wearing a condom during oral sex will not completely guarantee that you will not contract HPV as they do not cover all the skin around the genitals so you’re not fully protected [3].


Sharing sex toys


HPV can be spread through contact with infected surfaces - this includes sex toys. The highest risk for getting HPV in this instance would likely be if the virus is living on a sex toy that you or your partner use regularly [4].


One of the best ways to ensure you and your partner maintain good sexual health is through regular HPV screening, this can be done by taking a trip to your doctor’s office or from the comfort of your own home with an at-home lab test.

LetsGetChecked’s at-home HPV Test detects strains that are considered high-risk for developing cervical cancer. Online results will be available within 5-7 days and our dedicated medical team will be available every step of the way to answer any questions you may have.

You should consider taking a test if:

  • You are over the age of 21
  • You have had skin to skin contact with someone who is carrying the HPV virus
  • You have had unprotected sex
  • Your mother carried the HPV virus during your birth
  • You have not received a HPV vaccine


References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Online: Cdc.gov, 2019
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Online: Cdc.gov, 2019
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HPV and Oropharyngeal Cancer. Online: Cdc.gov, 2018
  4. NHS. Human papillomavirus (HPV). Online: NHS.uk, 2019