Female Human Papillomavirus Infection Education


The Human Papillomavirus Infection (HPV), a viral infection affecting both genders, is the most frequently encountered sexually transmitted disease (STD). It is so common that the majority of people that are sexually active may be infected during their life. Transmission is possible through the skin to skin contact. The virus may lie dormant or not cause any health problems, however over 40% of strains are considered high-risk leading to genital warts and some forms of cancer. There is a series of vaccinations in existence meant as a method of prevention (CDC, 2017). While high-risk HPV is a serious matter, there are approaches for educating carriers and their partners about transmission, the prevalence of the virus, and screening for possible health complications

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The key to effective communication with one’s partner is being educated about the medical background and future proceedings with a high-risk HPV diagnosis. In a study done with educational intervention on the topic, the number of women very concerned with high-risk HPV fell by 33%, and 67% of the women expressed interest in annual gynecological visits with screening tests. Also, none of the women any longer associated HPV with infidelity (Papa, Simas, Reynolds, & Melnitsky, 2009).

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The biggest health concern in high-risk HPV, especially in women, is cancer. More than 70% of cervical, anal, oropharyngeal, and other forms of cancer are HPV-related. However, the diagnosis does not imply immediate illness; it means that regular check-ups should be in order since the prognosis of carcinoma is increased. Other low-risk HPV strains may cause genital warts, a symptom more common in men (Guo, Goldenberg, & Fakhry, 2017).

A study was conducted on asymptomatic men whose sexual partners tested positive for cervical HPV infection. The results showed that 86% of men had at least one strain of HPV. More than half of the couples showed signs of the virus, and 84.6% of the men in that group had the identical strain of high-risk HPV as their female partners. Conclusively, males should not be disregarded and act as a carrier leading to higher transmission rates (Rocha et al., 2012). Approximately 64% of the women showed preference to their long-term partner being vaccinated. The vaccine helps protect both sexual partners since HPV can have such implications. Since HPV rates are substantially higher with a partner, the medical community suggests an increase of physical contraception such as condoms which has been linked to reducing odds of infection (Harper et al., 2014).

Health organizations indicate that someone diagnosed with high-risk HPV should first focus on themselves and accept the situation calmly before talking to anyone else. A comfort level is established and having information allows for active dialogue. It is important to understand that the virus does not represent any inappropriate behavior. Also, high-risk HPV only leads to cancer in few cases, which can be monitored. Partners should know that there is no specific medical test for HPV, but most tests for men consist of visual screenings looking for lesions (genital warts). Eventually, the virus will be cleared with a healthy immune system. Healthy sexual activity with the same partner does not anyhow affect the chances of health complications or timing the virus remains in the body. Consistent consultation with a physician should continue. Meanwhile, new research is being done to determine more about HPV (National Cervical Cancer Coalition, 2017).


Having the diagnosis of high-risk HPV is challenging for a patient, they are filled with overwhelming negative emotion. There is often embarrassment and anxiety about transmission and fidelity with their partners. It is recommended to sympathize with voiced feelings and provide information. Patients have expressed that doctors should more thoroughly address the issue and provide material that might answer fundamental questions as many may be too uncomfortable to ask. Focusing on topics that might be potentially brought up in a conversation with sexual partners, such as transmission has proven to be most helpful (Guo et al., 2017).


CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Web.

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Guo, T., Goldenberg, D., & Fakhry, C. (2017). AHNS Series: Do you know your guidelines? Management of head and neck cancer in the era of human papillomavirus: Educating our patients on human papillomavirus. Head & Neck, 39(5), 833-839. Web.

Harper, D. M., Alexander, N. M., Ahern, D. A., Comes, J. C., Smith, M. S., Heutinck, M. A., & Handley, S. M. (2014). Women have a preference for their male partner to be HPV vaccinated. PLoS ONE, 9(5). Web.

Papa, D., Simas, T. A., Reynolds, M., & Melnitsky, H. (2009). Assessing the role of education in womens knowledge and acceptance of adjunct high-risk Human Papillomavirus testing for cervical cancer screening. Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease, 13(2), 66-71. Web.

Rocha, M. G., Faria, F. L., Gonçalves, L., Souza, M. D., Fernandes, P. Á, & Fernandes, A. P. (2012). Prevalence of DNA-HPV in male sexual partners of HPV-infected women and concordance of viral types in infected couples. PLoS ONE, 7(7). Web.

National Cervical Cancer Coalition. (2017). HPV and relationships. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Female Human Papillomavirus Infection Education'. 23 August.

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