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Anal HPV (Yep, That's What I Said)

Anal HPV (Yep, That's What I Said)

So I'm sure you're sick of me talking about HPV, the STI that can cause genital warts and certain types of cervical cancer, but I'm not finished yet. There's also another type of HPV you should know about — anal HPV — that's just as common as cervical HPV.

No, anal HPV isn't only contracted through anal sex, although women who engage in this act are definitely more at risk, but so are women who are young, white, with lower levels of education and income, and a history of having multiple sexual partners. It can also be passed through sexual play (by using fingers or sharing sex toys). It's thought that oral sex may also transmit anal HPV, although doctors unfortunately aren't clear about all the ways it can be transmitted.

Why is anal HPV something to watch out for? To find out


The thing to know is that anal HPV can lead to anal cancer. Although this is rare, more than 4,600 are diagnosed with anal cancer in the US each year and nearly 700 people die from it.

Dear's Advice: Doctors are not urging women to get anal Pap tests (phew), so the best thing you can do is to be sure you use protection when you engage in any type of sexual activity. Since many women have no symptoms and don't even know they have HPV, be sure to get tested regularly. If you're not in a committed relationship with one person, you may want to think about getting the Gardasil vaccine. It won't protect you from all types of HPV, but at least you'll be protected against the four types that are linked to 70 percent of cervical cancers and 90 percent of genital warts. Doctors think that this vaccine may also help protect against anal HPV.


Join The Conversation
Ikandy Ikandy 9 years
am i missing something...what does income have to do with higher risks??? OMG...I never even knew there was such a thing as an anal pap test... :JAWDROP:
Megbucks3 Megbucks3 9 years
Muirnea, you're correct. Gardasil doesn't prevent all types of HPV. Apparently it only protects against 4 or so strains of HPV, that happen to be the most likely to cause cervical cancer. There are over 100 different strains of HPV. It's frustrating because they can't tell you how long you've had HPV, who gave it to you, if your partner is infected or if it will go away. My doctor also told me that you can get it from simple skin contact that a condom wouldn't protect.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
I just thought of something, what about oral? Can HPV give you oral cancer?
Megbucks3 Megbucks3 9 years
I'm definetely not sick of hearing about HPV!!! I wish I had heard more about it when I was younger! I had heard a little about last year and got the prevention shot. I thought once I had the shot, that I was immune to all kinds of HPV. After 7 years of clean pap smears, this past March 1st, I was diagnosed with HPV. Fortunately they were able to catch it early. I have always been an advocate amongst my friends about yearly pap smears and I hope that it serves as a motivator and reminder to all women.
sugarbean sugarbean 9 years
Muirnea -- here's a link to the FDA release on Gardasil. I could be wrong, but I seem to remember that it says somewhere in there the studies indicated it's not effective in females with prior exposure/infection.
Muirnea Muirnea 9 years
I have heard that the Gardasil vaccine doesn't protect people who have already had sex/been exposed to the virus? Does anyone know if that is true or the facts about that?
JessieSP JessieSP 9 years
I don't mind reading this. The more we know the better off we all are. We women need to talk care of ourselves first and last. It's good for us to pass this kind of information along to each other. I mean we are all adults here.
HayleyStark HayleyStark 9 years
Very informative, though I must say that Gardasil is ony approved for women age 26 and younger. I noticed you have people of all ages in the community, so if you're in your 30s, that is not an option. Thank you!
BeautyXRush BeautyXRush 9 years
Haha Anal HPV. Anal sex is just nasty anyways, so I'm not surprised.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
Yeah, I second that Dear Sugar, I am so not tired of hearing you talk about HPV. This is one of the main places I feel like I can trust the information that is posted and educate myself.
LaLa0428 LaLa0428 9 years
What Tullia said!
DearSugar DearSugar 9 years
Yes SkiGurl, genital warts!
skigurl skigurl 9 years
you mean HPV can cause WARTS, not HERPES right?
rpenner rpenner 9 years
I also apprecaite the useful information! I don't think we can be too informed about STD's ect.
Tullia Tullia 9 years
I'm not sick of hearing about these HPVs or and STD at all, Dear! Its for our own good, and I appreciate all the useful info.! Thanks.
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