Vaccines can protect against HPV and hepatitis B, two STDs linked to cancer. Ask your Dr.
Genital warts (caused by the virus HPV, or ‘human papilloma virus’) are small, often painless bumps in or round the vagina, penis, or anus. You get HPV by having sex with someone who has the virus.
HPV is spread by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Even if the warts go away or are removed, the virus stays in your body and can be spread to others.
HPV can be prevented with the HPV vaccine. The vaccine to protect you from HPV is for girls and women who:
- Are 9 to 26 years of age
- Have not yet had sex
- Have had sex, but do not have HPV
If you’ve had oral, vaginal or anal sex, it is important to get an HPV test. This is a simple and painless test. If a woman has the kind of HPV that causes genital warts, she may also have another kind of HPV that causes cervical cancer. Any woman who has had genital warts should have a Pap smear at least once a year to check for cervical cancer.
Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver that can be diagnosed by a simple blood test. Hepatitis B is caused by a virus (a kind of germ).
You could get Hepatitis B if you:
- Have sex with someone who has the virus.
- Share needles or drugs with someone who has the virus.
- Share earrings, razors, nail clippers, or toothbrushes with someone who has the virus.
- Pierce your body or get a tattoo when tools infected with the virus are used.
- Touch infected blood or bodily fluids.
People can have hepatitis B without knowing it. They may feel fine or they may just feel like they have the flu. Even if you have no signs, you can still spread hepatitis B to others.
Some people get these signs:
- Yellow skin or eyes
- No appetite (they don't want to eat)
- Feeling tired
- Brown or dark urine (pee)
- Light or gray stools
Some people have pain in their:
- Stomach or abdomen
There is no cure for hepatitis B, but in some people, it goes away on its own. There is medicine that can help the liver of people who have chronic hepatitis.
Hepatitis B can cause these problems:
- You can give it to others.
- You have a higher chance of getting HIV (the virus that causes AIDS).
- Chronic hepatitis can badly damage your liver. It can lead to cancer and even death.
- If a woman has hepatitis B while she is pregnant, she should tell her doctor right away. Her baby could be born with it. The baby will need special shots right after birth.
Your doctor will make a treatment plan just for you. Tell your partner(s) and anyone you live with that you have hepatitis B. They will need to get the vaccine.