New release of our Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Guide
Pacific Prime is thrilled to announce their latest health guide on Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which is a welcome addition to our extensive collection of guides and reports. As the most common sexually transmitted infection in the world, HPV is a group of over 150 varieties of related viruses. As common as it is, though, there is still a lot of murky information out there on the topic; for example, that anyone who has ever had sex before is probably infected.
In light of this, the health insurance experts at Pacific Prime have compiled this compendium of knowledge to debunk any HPV myths, and familiarize our readers with this disease. This informative guide serves as an essential read to let our readers understand different aspects of the virus. Get your free copy today to unlock information on:
- What exactly is HPV?
- How does HPV get transmitted?
- What are the symptoms of HPV?
- How is HPV diagnosed?
- Is HPV curable?
- How can you avoid HPV?
- Does your health insurance plan cover HPV?
Detailed answers to the above questions can be found in our Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Guide.
What exactly is HPV?
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the world, and affects both men and women. So much so, in fact, that most sexually active people will contract HPV at some stage in their lives. While this virus has over 150 varieties, most infections are innocuous, and symptoms will fade away on their own unless your body’s immune system is compromised. These cases are labeled low risk HPV since they rarely develop into cancer, though they can still cause genital warts.
On the other hand, there are certain high risk strains which can cause cancer, such as cervical cancer and throat cancer. For instance, HPV 16 and 18 can cause precancerous cell changes. While the majority of these changes will regress to normal within 1 to 2 years, around 10% of women with high risk HPV present on their cervix will develop cervical cancer.
Although less common, high risk HPV can also infect and linger in the cells of the vulva, vagina, penis, and anus, and cause precancers. Precancers may develop into cancer if not removed and treated in a timely manner.
How does HPV get transmitted?
Among the 150+ HPV subtypes, about 40 can enter the body through intimate skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, oral, and anal sexual activity with an infected person. It can be passed even if the person shows no signs of infection. Infected persons can develop symptoms years after being infected, so it can be difficult to know for sure who has transmitted the disease to you.
Aside from sexual contact, HPV can be transmitted through other means, such as from a mother to her newborn at the time of birth. When it does, it can cause papillomas to grow in the infant’s lungs and breathing tubes, as well as the voice box.
How can I avoid HPV?
Although there is currently no cure for the virus itself, there are a couple of ways you can lower your risk of getting infected.
1. Use latex condoms every time you engage in sexual intercourse
The virus does not pass through a condom so it is crucial to follow the package instructions when putting on a condom, as well as to look out for any tears or defects. However, you should also note that the virus can still infect areas unprotected by the condom.
2. Consider abstinence from sexual contact
This is likely the most effective method for avoiding HPV given that sexual intercourse is the main way of contracting the virus. However, it may not be a very viable option for most adults.
3. Get vaccinated
The HPV vaccine can prevent 90% of cervical cancer, and 90% of genital warts in men and women, as well as other HPV-related cancers or diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that men over 21 and women over 26 should receive the shots. The latest research has shown that HPV vaccines offer protection for at least 9 years.
4. Regular Pap tests
The HPV vaccine cannot guarantee 100% HPV protection since it does not protect against all strains of cervical cancer. Nor does it clear the virus in those who have already been infected. Thus, regular screenings are still necessary. Women should undergo pap smear tests to identify abnormal changes in the cervix and avoid potential cervical cancer.
5. Consider limiting your number of sexual partners
Some studies have found a correlation between a person’s number of sex partners and HPV infections. The more sexual partners a person has, the more possible exposure they have to HPV.
6. Stop engaging in sexual activity if you have genital warts
If you suspect or know that you have genital warts, you should stop engaging in any sexual activities and seek treatment immediately. While genital warts can go away over time, HPV can still stay in your bloodstream after they are gone.
Does your health insurance plan cover HPV?
HPV treatment can easily rack up significant costs, especially at private medical facilities. Thus, it is a smart move to ensure that your insurance policy can address the cost of HPV care.
Most international private medical insurance plans do cover HPV treatment as long as the policyholder develops the disease after they have secured the plan. However, HPV will be automatically excluded from coverage if it is deemed a pre-existing condition.
Whether your plan covers HPV treatment, or even vaccine costs, depends on the terms and conditions of your plan. Each insurance plan has its own scope of coverage, exclusions, and limitations. Therefore, you should seek professional advice from experts to clarify what your insurance plan includes and excludes.
How Pacific Prime can help you
As an established insurance advisory with over 18 years of experience and nine offices around the world, Pacific Prime specializes in health insurance and employee benefits schemes. With the goal of simplifying insurance, we strive to make insurance easy and understandable for every individual through constant release of our blogs, reports, and guides. Contact us today for impartial insurance advice, a free quote, and a plan comparison. Last but not least, don’t forget to download our complimentary Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Guide!