All STD testing is important, especially for disease like HIV and human papilloma virus (HPV). We probably already know a lot about HIV, so why don’t we pay more attention to HPV? HPV is the most widespread STD in the United States. Not only can HPV have symptoms like genital warts, it can also lead to other complications. This is one reason why HPV testing is so important–the disease can also be without any symptoms, which sometimes makes it difficult to detect. Technology is changing. Below are some reasons getting tested for HPV is so pivotal.
Testing Is Accessible
With new testing methods being used, HPV detection has become much easier. There are already at-home HPV tests available, and they are on the way to being accessible to everyone. Nowadays there is no excuse not to get tested for the many strains of the disease. While treatment for HPV is available, it is a preventable disease that when not detected can be provide many complications. One of the main concerns is that HPV can cause cervical cancer in women.
HPV Can Cause Cancer
Perhaps the most crucial reason to get tested for HPV is because it can cause cervical cancer in women. Sometimes HPV can have no symptoms. If you go without knowing that you have HPV you won’t get screened for cancer, which could lead to the cancer spreading. Nearly all cervical cancer cases are caused by HPV.
Luckily, if you get tested and have HPV you can screen routinely for cancer. Not only can this provide the ability to prevent cancer, it also provide the ability to stop the spread if you come down with cancer in the cervix. HPV can also be the cause of vaginal, vulva, and anal cancers. So many people know about the dangers of HIV, but HPV can also have a lot complications that are just as dangerous.
You Can Get Vaccinated
HPV testing isn’t only important when you have contracted the infection. It is also imperative for vaccinations. If you don’t have HPV that is, of course, good news. But it also means that you can get vaccinated so you don’t have to worry about contracting the sexually transmitted infection. Vaccines for HPV are quite accessible. There is no reason you shouldn’t be vaccinated for the infection. Once you have the peace of mind that you don’t have HPV, you can ensure you don’t get it in the future.
HPV Isn’t Only An STD
While HPV is primarily known as an STD, it doesn’t have to be contracted sexually. It is most commonly spread through either vaginal or anal sex, but you can contract HPV without having sex at all. The disease cannot be transmitted through bodily fluids like semen or saliva. It is contracted through skin-to-skin contact. That’s one reason it is so common.
Most People Will Contract HPV In Their Lifetime
HPV is so common that the majority of men and women will get one strain of HPV in their life. Most of the time people contract a symptom-less version of HPV, but it is a risk that you don’t want to take. Beyond symptom-less HPV, you can get infected by a type of the virus that causes genital warts. You can get an HPV strain that causes cancer. These are different strains, but with fewer symptoms when it comes to HPV that causes cancer, it is important to get tested to find out if you have the virus. With the infection being so common, it is integral for everyone to get tested for it.
It’s, of course, better to be safe than sorry. You don’t want to take the chance of getting HPV or of not knowing that you have contracted the virus. Whether you are worried you have warts or not, it is pivotal to get tested for HPV in order to get peace of mind and any necessary treatment for your symptoms. Beyond treatment, preventing both the human papilloma virus and subsequent complications like cancer. Do what’s right for you, your partner, and your family. You can get treated for HPV as soon as possible to find out whether or not you have contracted some form of the sexually transmitted infection.
Ryan Beitler is a journalist, writer, and blogger who has written about health for a variety of websites. He has also worked for The Slovenia Times, Paste Magazine, Addiction Now, and New Noise Magazine.