Genital Warts (Human Papillomavirus) (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
You can reduce your risk of becoming infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV) or another sexually transmitted infection (STI). You also can reduce the risk of spreading HPV to your sex partner(s).
Practice safe sex
Preventing a sexually transmitted infection (STI) is easier than treating an infection after it occurs.
Male condom use
Condom use can reduce the risk of becoming infected with HPV. You can help prevent infection if you use them every time you have sex. Condoms must be put on before beginning any sexual contact.
Female condom use
Even if you are using another birth control method, you may wish to use condoms to reduce your risk of getting an STI. Female condoms are available for women whose partners do not have or will not use a male condom. Female condoms may lower the risk of HPV infection of the cervix. But these condoms are more effective at lowering the risk of other STIs.
If you are age 26 or younger, you can get the HPV shot. The vaccines Cervarix(What is a PDF document?) and Gardasil(What is a PDF document?) protect against two types of HPV that cause cervical cancer. Gardasil also protects against two types of HPV that cause genital warts. Three shots are given over 6 months. It is recommended for children age 11 or 12, but can be given as early as age 9. For girls who have not already gotten the vaccine, it is recommended up to age 26. For boys who have not already gotten the shot, the vaccine is recommended up to age 21. Gardasil is used for males. Females can get either vaccine. For more information, see the topic Immunizations.
The HPV vaccine is not useful for treating women who already are infected with HPV.5 But it may protect a woman against types of the HPV virus other than the one causing her infection.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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