Attention

X

You are now leaving AMAZE.org.
Content beyond this site might not be
appropriate for young adolescents.

Continue to external site

Attention

X

The following video was not produced by AMAZE.

Play Video

We'd like one thing before you download!

X

Please give us your email address before you download. Feel free to subscribe to our Newsletter while you’re here!


Download
What Is HPV? (Human Papillomavirus)
What Is HPV? (Human Papillomavirus)
Add video to playlist Create Playlist
What Is HPV? (Human Papillomavirus)

Youth

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD), also called a sexually transmitted infection (STI). HPV can be passed from different types of sexual behaviors, including sexual intercourse or skin-to-skin genital contact with a person who already has it. A person can have HPV and not have any symptoms, which is why it is so important for a person who decides to have sex to use condoms to reduce their risk of infection.

 

There are many types of HPV, and most of them will go away on their own. Some types of HPV can cause genital warts. A few types of HPV can increase a person’s risk of developing cancer of the cervix, vagina, penis, anus, mouth or throat. There is a vaccine for these types of HPV. The vaccine is most effective when a person gets it at the age of 11 or 12 years old, before they have been exposed to HPV. If a person didn’t get the vaccine at 11 or 12 years old, they can still get it when they are older. If you haven’t had the vaccine or you are not sure if you’ve gotten it, talk to your parent or guardian about it, or speak with your health care provider. It’s a great way to protect your health!

FAQs

How can you avoid getting HPV?

The only 100-percent effective way to avoid getting an STD, like HPV, is to abstain from sexual touching below the waist, such as rubbing bodies without clothes, vaginal-penile sex, oral sex and anal sex. Your next best bet is to practice safer sex, such as using either a male (external) or female (internal) condom and/or dental dam every time you have any type of sex. Since HPV can be passed from genital skin-to-skin contact, condoms and dental dams do not completely prevent HPV, but they do lower your risk of getting HPV.

Can I get a sexually transmitted disease from kissing?

Herpes is the only STD that can be passed through kissing. This usually happens when one person has a sore on or around the mouth and then kisses another person. It can also happen during a select number of days throughout the year when the virus is more active in a person’s body and when they may have no symptoms at all.

What’s a condom?

A condom is a thin piece of latex, polyisoprene or polyurethane that is worn over the penis during oral, anal or vaginal intercourse to prevent pre-ejaculatory (pre-cum) fluid or semen from entering a partner’s mouth, anus or vagina. Condoms can be made of latex, polyisoprene, polyurethane and natural skin, but only latex, polyisoprene and polyurethane condoms prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. Condoms can be found in most supermarkets and drugstores.

Parents

It is common for young people to hear many myths about STDs, so having a trusted adult in their lives that they can talk to about this topic is important. There is also a lot of stigma around having an STD, even though it is common to have one at some point in your life.

 

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD), also known as a sexually transmitted infection (STI). HPV can be spread from one infected person to another through sexual contact—from sexual touching (genital-to-genital contact) to any kind of sexual intercourse (oral, anal or penile-vaginal sex).

 

There are many types of HPV, and 90 percent of them will go away on their own. Some types of HPV can cause genital warts. A few types of HPV can increase a person’s risk of developing cancer of the cervix, vagina, penis, anus, mouth or throat. There is no HPV test for men, and HPV testing doesn’t start for women until they are 30 or older. Pap tests, which are part of cervical cancer screening and test for abnormal cervical cells, begin when women are 21 years old. There is a vaccine for the types of HPV that can cause cancer. The vaccine is most effective when given at 11 or 12 years old, before a person has been exposed to HPV. Some adults are under the impression that the vaccine is specifically for young people who are sexually active. This is not the case. The HPV vaccine is most effective before a young person has begun to engage in sexual behaviors. Research conducted by Harvard University found that getting the HPV vaccine does not encourage young people to have sex. If your child did not get the vaccine at 11 or 12 years old, they can still get it when they are older. If your child has not had the vaccine, speak with your child’s health care provider. The vaccine is a great way to protect your child’s health.

 

Even though most people don’t like to talk about STDs, it is important for caring adults to talk with young people about STD transmission and prevention, before young people begin engaging in sexual behaviors with a partner. While it is good to normalize STDs, it is also important to be clear with young people about how STDs can affect them and why it is important to practice safer sex. It is also important that they know that the most common symptom of having an STD is not having any symptoms at all.

 

Before young people begin engaging in sexual behaviors, they should know how they can reduce the risk of contracting an STD by decreasing their number of sexual partners and properly and consistently using latex barriers, like condoms, internal (female) condoms and dental dams. Research shows that young people whose parents talked to them about condoms before the young person began having sex are more likely to use condoms at first intercourse and thereafter.

 

Talking about STDs with the young people in your life lets them know that they are not alone and that they can come to their parents or guardians when they have questions or need support.

 

CONVERSATION STARTERS

 

If you start essential conversations about topics like STDs with your children, then they will know they can come to you with questions. The easiest way to start these conversations is to talk about issues as they arise in everyday life while you are doing things like watching TV together. Symptoms, testing and condoms may not just come up in conversation, but it is important to talk about these issues. Below are some ways to start these conversations:

Try broaching these topics while doing something related to them

For example, while at the doctor’s office for your child’s checkup, you can talk to your child about Gardasil, the vaccine that protects people from nine types of HPV—a sexually transmitted disease.

Talk to your child when a sex scene comes up on TV

If a sex scene comes up on TV, there is an opportunity to talk about whether the partners talked about safer sex or used a latex barrier, like a condom or dental dam. While you may be nervous about having these conversations, a simple, “Wow, do you think they’re worried about STDs?” is one way to start the conversation.

While at the drugstore, you can ask your child if they know what condoms are

If you are shopping in the market or a drugstore together, walk up the aisle where the condoms are hanging and ask your child if they know what condoms are and how they are used. Purchase a pack to take home and open so your child can see what they look like and how they are used.

Educators

It is common for young people to hear many myths about STDs, so educating them about this topic is very important. There is also a lot of stigma around having an STD, even though it is quite common to have one at some point in your life.

 

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD), also known as a sexually transmitted infection (STI). HPV can be spread from one infected person to another through sexual contact—from sexual touching (genital-to-genital contact) to any kind of sexual intercourse (oral, anal or penile-vaginal sex).

 

There are many types of HPV, and 90 percent of them will go away on their own. Some types of HPV can cause genital warts. A few types of HPV can increase a person’s risk of developing cancer of the cervix, vagina, penis, anus, mouth or throat. There is no HPV test for men, and HPV testing doesn’t start for women until they are 30 or older. Pap tests, which are part of cervical cancer screening and test for abnormal cervical cells, begin when women are 21 years old. There is a vaccine for the types of HPV that can cause cancer. The vaccine is most effective when given at the age of 11 or 12 years old, before a person has been exposed to HPV. Young people who are older than 12 years old and have not gotten the vaccine can still see a health care provider to get it. Some adults are under the impression that the vaccine is specifically for young people who are sexually active. This is not the case. The HPV vaccine is most effective before a young person has begun to engage in sexual behaviors. Research conducted by Harvard University found that getting the HPV vaccine does not encourage young people to have sex.

Education about STD transmission and prevention should start before young people begin engaging in sexual behaviors with a partner. While it is good to help young people understand that STDs are relatively common, it is also important to be clear with young people about how STDs can affect them and why it is important to practice safer sex.

 

Before young people begin engaging in sexual behaviors, they should know how to reduce the risk of contracting an STD by decreasing their number of sexual partners and properly and consistently using latex barriers, like condoms, female (internal) condoms and dental dams.

Educating young people about STDs in a non-shaming way lets them know that they are not alone and that they can ask questions or seek help when they need it.

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

After watching the video with your class, process it using the following discussion questions:
  • What new information did you learn about HPV from the video?
  • Did any of this information surprise you?
  • What would you say is the key message about HPV?
  • How might you use this information in the future now that you have it?