|Can HPV infection be prevented?|
There is no easy way to tell if someone is infected with an HPV. People who don’t have any signs or symptoms of HPV infection can still transmit the infection.
Condoms do not totally prevent transmission of HPV. HPV can be transmitted by direct contact with infected areas that aren’t covered by a condom. Men and women with HIV who are sexually active may want to have a regular Pap smear, anal and/or vaginal, to check for abnormal cells or early signs of warts or dysplasia. A positive result can be followed up to see if treatment is needed.
A vaccine called Gardasil was approved in 2006 to prevent infection with 2 low risk types of HPV (6,11) which cause warts and 2 high-risk types of HPV (16,18) which cause anal, cervical, throat, and penile cancer. However, it has not been tested in or approved for people already infected with HPV. For more information on vaccination against HPV, see https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/hpv.pdf.