HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States. HPV is a different virus than HIV and HSV (herpes). HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active people get it at some point in their lives. There are many different types of HPV (more than 40), and many do not cause any health problems. However, some types can cause health problems including genital warts and cancers. There are vaccines that can stop these health problems from happening, and having protected sex can also prevent one from getting HPV. •
You can get HPV by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the virus. It is most commonly spread during vaginal or anal sex. HPV can be passed even when an infected person has no signs or symptoms.
Anyone who is sexually active can get HPV, even if you have had sex with only one person. You also can develop symptoms years after you have sex with someone who is infected. This makes it hard to know when you first became infected.
In most cases, HPV goes away on its own and does not cause any health problems. But when HPV does not go away, it can cause health problems like genital warts and different forms of cancer. - Source: CDC
Many individuals with HPV (or another STI) feel embarrassed about it because of all the stigma surrounding STI's - while it's actually so common and therefore helpful to be able to openly speak about it, share experiences and not feel embarrassed about visiting a doctor to solve the problem. If you're sexually active, it's really important to perform safe sex (as safe as possible), and get your health checked from time to time. Not only for yourself, but also for the benefit of your sexual partner(s). And it all starts with opening up conversation with them, saying something like: hey, I love having sex with you, and I love being healthy at the same time - how can we make this experience as positive as possible for both of us? 🙌🏿 Education, communication and a respectful and empathic attitude are key to a healthy and positive sex life 🌿 Love yourself, and love your vulva - because all vulvas are awesome just the way they are 💕✨