Because HPV is a common virus and is so easily passed on, it is quite difficult to prevent yourself from being infected.
Up to 80% of males and females will be infected with at least one genital type of HPV at some time in their lives.1 But remember that most people clear HPV infection from their body without any symptoms or health problems.
If used correctly, condoms can help reduce the risk of genital HPV, and also provide protection against other sexually transmitted diseases. However, because HPV is transmitted through genital skin contact (not just sexual intercourse) condoms don’t provide 100% protection against HPV.
For females, your risk of developing cervical cancer can be reduced with cervical screening. Talk to your doctor for more information.
There are vaccines available for certain types of HPV. Vaccination does not protect against all HPV types that could cause cervical cancer; therefore, it is important women continue with cervical screening. Talk to your healthcare professional for more information.