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Human papillomavirus: time to dispel dangerous myths
Many people in the country are unaware of the HPV virus, how it spreads and its potential dangers, according to a new British survey. For example, 48% of women do not think they are at risk for disease if they are in a monogamous relationship. And 52% do not know how men and women contract HPV.
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According to a new UK poll, hundreds of thousands of women across the country mistakenly believe they will not contract the human papillomavirus (HPV) if they are in long-term partnerships.
About 1,500 British women were interviewed for their knowledge of this infection, which is believed to cause 99% of cervical cancers. The results showed that almost half of women (48%) do not think they are at risk for the disease if they have been in a monogamous relationship for a long time. British medical experts find the findings worrying.
Pharmaceutical company Roche, who conducted the survey, says it's important to dispel myths about HPV because it's dangerous. Long-term partnerships do not eliminate the risk of contracting the virus that infects 80% of people at some point in their lives. HPV symptoms often do not appear for many years, and men and women can become infected several times during their lives.
The mentioned survey also showed: about 7% of people believe that if a partner is diagnosed with HPV, then this indicates his betrayal.
17% overall and a quarter of respondents over the age of 55 stated that sexual promiscuity is a major risk factor for cervical cancer. Slightly more than a fifth of the respondents admitted that they have no idea about how HPV is transmitted. And 52% said they don't know how men and women get infected.
In the UK, since 2008, all girls aged 12-13 have been given the HPV vaccine. Since September this year, vaccinations for boys have also been introduced, since, according to scientists, HPV causes about 2,500 cases of cancer in men in this country every year and about 650 deaths - mainly from throat and mouth cancers.
42% of women who participated in the survey believe that they do not need to be screened for cervical cancer if they have already been vaccinated against HPV. About 44% admitted that they decided not to make an appointment for examination for cervical cancer even after receiving an invitation. And about a quarter (26%) of people over 55 said that they are unlikely to undergo this examination in the future.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the name of a group of viruses that infect the skin and mucous membranes. It spreads mainly through vaginal, anal and oral sex, as well as through contact with the skin of the genitals. Up to eight out of ten people become infected with this virus. There are over 100 types of HPV, and about 30 of them can affect the genital area. Genital HPV infections are common and highly contagious. Symptoms often develop years after infection, and most infections remain untreated. HPV can cause warts, cancer of the cervix, throat, anus, vagina, and penis.