Unfortunately, there’s no treatment for human papillomavirus (HPV). However, there are ways to help protect your child from certain HPV-related cancers and diseases.
Protection starts with knowing the facts
By getting the facts now, you can have an informed conversation with your child’s doctor. Together, you can talk about HPV and decide the best way to help protect your child from certain HPV-related cancers and diseases.
Other ways to help protect your child
When the time is right, you can talk to your son or daughter about some other ways to help protect against HPV-related cancers and diseases. Having an open and honest conversation can help educate your child about infection with the virus and its potentially serious consequences.
- Using condoms may lower the risk of getting HPV if used all the time and in the right way. But keep in mind that the virus can affect areas that aren’t covered by a condom—so it may not fully protect against HPV.
- Limiting sexual partners. While there’s no way to know whether your partner could expose you to HPV, limiting your number of sexual partners may help lower your chances of getting the virus.
- Practicing abstinence. According to the CDC, the most reliable way to prevent genital HPV infection is abstaining from sexual activity.
If you have a daughter, routine Pap tests will play a key role in protecting her health when she gets older. These tests are proven to help save lives by looking for abnormal cells in the cervix before they have the chance to become precancer or cancer.
If you have a son, regular check-ups may be helpful when he gets older, too. There is currently no recommended screening test for HPV in males, so check-ups can give men a chance to openly talk to a doctor if they see or feel something different in their genital area.