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HPV stands for human papillomavirus. HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active people get it at some point in their lives. But most of the time it goes away on its own without ever having any symptoms.

The simple answer of HPV is spread is through skin-to-skin contact, so usually before or during vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

If you’re concerned about getting or spreading HPV, you can

  • Get the HPV vaccine. It can protect you against the HPV types that are most likely to cause cancer, and sometimes genital warts.

  • Avoid having any kind of sex.

  • If you have vaginal or anal sex, use condoms every time. They can lower your chances of getting HPV. They’re not as effective against HPV as they are against other infections like chlamydia or HIV, but they do reduce the risk of HPV infection. You can use condoms, Sheer Glyde damsdental dams, or plastic wrap during oral sex to protect against HPV even more.

Tags: safer sex, HPV