The More Sexual Partners You Have, the More HPV You Acquire
By Gabe Mirkin, M.D.
Human Papilloma Viruses (HPV) are sexually-acquired viruses that can cause genital warts and cancers of the vagina, cervix, penis, mouth, tongue, throat, skin, head and neck.
More than 150 different HPVs exist and every sexual exposure with a different person can introduce a new virus.
The majority of infected people clear HPV from their bodies in 6 to 12 months.
Continued exposure to new partners brings new infections with new viruses. The more contacts you have, the more viruses you acquire.
HOW COMMON IS HPV?
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease. Your risk for acquiring HPV can be as high as 15 percent per sexual contact.
More than 90 percent of sexually- active people have been infected with HPV, and more than 50 percent of people infected with HPV have more than one HPV virus (The Journal of Infectious Diseases, published online November 4, 2011).
Being infected with one HPV does not protect you from being infected with any other HPV.
Recent data show that having more than one HPV virus increases risk for cancer, and the more HPV viruses you have, the greater your chances of developing certain cancers.
Furthermore, having had a chlamydia infection in addition to HPV markedly increases a woman’s chance of developing cervical cancer (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers, published online October 12, 2011).
NOT ALL HPV VIRUSES CAUSE CANCERS
Genital HPV are classified as low-risk and high-risk for causing cancers. Low-risk HPV types (6, 11, 42, 43, 44, 54, 61, 70, 72, and 81) are virtually never found in cancers.
High-risk HPV types (16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 68, 73, and 82) have been found in cancers of the cervix, vagina, vulva, anus, and penis.
More than 80% of cervical cancers are caused by types 16, 18, 31, and 45.
The two vaccines against human papillomavirus available today together protect a person from infection with the four types of HPV that cause the most cervical and anal cancers, but they do not protect a person from infection with 150 other HPV viruses.
HOW IS HPV TRANSMITTED?
HPV is primarily transmitted through skin-to-skin sexual contact and exchange of secretions.
Condoms can reduce, but do not prevent, infections.
A person can develop oral, anal and genital HPV infections without having oral or anal intercourse. Two thirds of the sexual partners of women with HPV in their cervices will have the same type(s) of HPV on their penises.
CAN YOU GET HPV NON-SEXUALLY?
Possibly, but no studies show transmission of HPV from towels, toilet seats, doorknobs, swimming pools or hot tubs.
WILL I ALWAYS BE CONTAGIOUS?
Probably not. Most infected people clear HPV in six to 12 months. However, some continue to be infected. Most people who acquire HPV will never be harmed by these viruses.
Most people who get HPV do not develop visible lesions. Some develop warts, bumps, nodules, ulcers, and cancers.
Treatments include creams that enhance a person’s immunity (imiquimod, brand name Aldara) that can destroy the cells infected with HPV.
Destructive chemicals and surgery usually take a very long time to get rid of warts.
Dr. Pinna says:
There is an epidemic of Papilloma Viruses in the USA and Europe. The people involved are mostly Christians. Muslims and Buddhists are apparently less involved, although one can only infer this from those countries which have a low incidence of cancer.
Why? Monogamy or having only a one person relationship has virtually disappeared.
People are now involved with many others instead of just one person. As a result the HPV virus is spread very easily. In addition, behavior which once was taboo is now considered normal.
The HPV virus is not innocuous—it is deadly.
Men in particular are now finding themselves with cancers in every orifice of their body. Young girls are now being vaccinated with HPV so that they can resist cancer of the uterine cervix. There is talk in medical circles that young boys will also be vaccinated.
Nothing in the Universe is free. Sex may seem free, but it definitely is not.