Human Papillomavirus, commonly known amongst people as HPV, is a type of viral infection, which spreads through skin-to-skin sexual contact. HPV is a group of more than 100 viruses of different types, which may have at least 30 strains that are known to cause different types of cancer in humans.We catch HPV from Toilet Seats still remains a common misconception among many people and continues to do the rounds all the time. But it is not true. The HPV – human pappillomavirus cannot be transmitted by using a toilet seat used by someone infected with HPV simply because life of a virus is very short and it cannot survive long once it is outside the body.
HPV is transmitted in the following ways – skin-to-skin sexual contact with a partner who is HPV infected. Penetration is not necessary to contract HPV. If a healthy person touches genitals of a partner or person infected with HPV and then his/her own it is a potential danger. HPV can be transmitted through various other ways like vaginal and anal intercourse, oral sex. Sharing sex toys with an infected person without first disinfecting it can also be a risky proposition. If a person indulges with it or opposite sex infected with HPV in genital-to-genital contact, he or she is at a risk.
Coming to taking preventive measures against HPV- Since no penetration is necessary to transmit the virus, prevention of HPV can be ensured to some extent by wearing a condom correctly and every time one has sex. Condoms provide limited protection because infected parts of the genitals may still be exposed while indulging in sex. For those who are sexually more active than others, wearing a condom and limiting the number of partners may reduce the risk of transmission.
The HPV vaccine called Gardasil, is also considered an effective means to prevent HPV. The vaccine is also approved for young women age 9 and 26. It is supposed to protect against HPV known to cause cervical cancer in women, and the HP virus known to cause genital warts. Before deciding to take vaccine it is advisable that you consult your doctor.