A five year old YouTube featuring Dr. Vanessa Cullins, vice president for external medical affairs at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, says the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted disease that everyone will contract.
“In terms of sexually transmitted diseases, expect to have HPV once you become sexually intimate,” says Cullins, who is an obstetrician and gynecologist. “All of us get it.”
While the HPV vaccine does not prevent acquiring the disease, the vaccine makers claim it prevents several strains of the virus from developing into cervical cancer. In Illinois, the HPV vaccine can be administered to girls as young as 12 years old without their parents' permission.
• Use latex condoms the right way every time you have sex. This can lower your chances of getting HPV. But HPV can infect areas that are not covered by a condom -- so condoms may not give full protection against getting HPV;
• Be in a mutually monogamous relationship – or have sex only with someone who only has sex with you.