8 Ways to Prevent HPV or Detect It Early

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) has over 30 strains that can affect the genitals. It is a group of over 150 viruses transmitted during sex or intimate genital contact between sexually cooperating partners. HPV mostly are harmless but is likely to cause genital warts. Some HPV viruses are at a higher risk, as they can lead to cervical and other forms of cancer by changing and damaging the cervical cells.

Let us get straight into the prevention modes of HPV or at least identify the transmission early. The eight following strategies would help.

Eight Ways to Stop HPV from Getting it

Prevention is always better than cure. Let us learn to stay clear of this deadly virus by preventing and detecting it early.

1. Get HPV Vaccinated

HPV types can cause cervical cancers. The recommended HPV vaccine is Gardasil 9 to prevent and protect against such cancers. It also protects against HPV-caused anal, vaginal, vulvar, penile, and oropharyngeal cancers - soft palate, tongue base, and tonsils cancers. It protects against most genital warts.

2. Practice Staying Away from Unprotected Sex

Steering clear of sexual attraction and contact is the best way to prevent the deadly virus from making inroads. Sexual abstinence is the key to stopping the spreading of HPV, be it oral, anal, or vaginal sex. It is strictly to follow if you do not know your partner's sexual references and inclinations. One partner rule is the best if you cannot resist a sexual urge.

3. Too Young - Sex is a Strict No-No for You

Youth is for education, playing outdoor games, learning, career building, and dreaming, not for sexual pleasure if you are too young. Do not indulge in any natural or unnatural infatuation-driven sexual activities for which you will repent the rest of your life. You will have all provocations to have sex with junior partners, but it is the time to rise and say no. The highest HPV prevalence is among the 15-25 years age group.

4. Limit the Number of Sex Partners

One partner rule works best, even better, if your partner is as dependable as you while partnering with you and does not practice polygamy or multiple sex partners. Indulging into flyby one-night stand kind of sex is a strict No-No. The higher the sexual partner, the higher the risk of HPV transmission.

5. No Matter What, Use Condoms

Condom is the most effective practice for any adventurous sex. If you cannot follow one partner rule and are not married to get a baby, using condoms is a must, even for oral and anal sex. Condoms reduce the risk of transmitting HPV if you are sexually active. It cannot fully protect but steer clear of the transmission chances.

6. Circumcision May not Lower the Risk

Many studies suggest circumcision reduces the HPV transmission risk more than uncircumcision does. Risking their female partners of HPV transmission is also low. The American Urological Association study suggests that circumcised men are twice at high risk for cancer-causing HPV forms. Hence, circumcision cannot guarantee the non-transmission of the HPV virus. Circumcised and non-circumcised men must take the vaccine and use condoms wherever possible.

7. Healthy Lifestyle and Diet to Strengthen Immunity

Immunity plays a significant role in preventing HPV from entering your body. Consult a doctor or a dietician to chart an immunity-boosting diet plan today. No particular diet plan can help prevent HPV cancer-causing infections.

A healthy plant-based vitamin, mineral, and protein-rich diet enhance immunity to fight the virus from entering or managing it well even after getting infected. The diet must be low in saturated fat and sugar and not have comorbidity or other underlying health conditions that put you at a higher risk.

8. Screening for Precancerous Changes early for Women

HPV infections can cause cervical dysplasia in women or abnormal changes in the cervix cells. It can lead to cervical cancer in women. Although, early detection and treatment can prevent it from happening to a large extent.

Use two tests for cervical dysplasia screening to detect HPV infection in the cervix −

PAP test − It draws cells from the cervix and tests them for abnormal cells

HPV test − It draws from the cervix but tests for HPV virus cancer-causing cells

American Cancer Society (ACS) suggests a primary HPV test for women between 25 and 65 years.


Sexually transmitted diseases, including HPV and HIV, are rampant and can affect men and women equally. Most HPV seems harmless and goes away, provided you have a healthy diet and lifestyle and a great immune system to shoo it faster. Other HPV can be dangerous to cause cell changes leading to cancer. Get vaccinated and conduct the tests, and consult your doctor for prevention and treatment if tested positive.

Updated on: 08-May-2023


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