80% of women acquire the virus when they turn 50

Myths and realities about human papillomavirus (HPV)

By: Dra. Sandra Milena Rodríguez Cárdenas.

Gineco- Obstetra

Much is said about this subject, certain things true and some false.  Identify myths and realities about the Human Papilloma Virus. Among the most frequent myths I hear from my patients I have heard: “Doctor I caught the virus it in the bathroom, at the pool, jacuzzi, etc. “,” A friend told me that the virus has a cure? “,really?” If my couple cheats on me, I may have the virus for this reason.” These are the most common doubts.

Unfortunately, the information with which the patient arrives is usually false. The reality is different. We have represented worldwide numbers of people infected by the Human PapillomaVirus (HPV); which is about 630 million.


We know that 50% of men and women sexually active have been infected with HPV at some point in their life and on average, 80% of women, upon reaching 50 years of age, have been infected with the virus. 

Types of HPV

The Papiloma virus has more than 100 types, however; not all affect the human race; 30 to 40 types affect the anus-genital tract, 15 to 20 are oncogenic types, and being these the most represented, type 16 and 18 cause most Cervical cancers. 

Types 6 and 11 result in no oncogenic and cause most of external genital warts. 


Currently we can count on vaccines against HPV, which have existed since 2006. Unfortunately, in our country, we don’t have vaccines which covers from viruses with higher incidence of both low and high grade. These can be applied from ages 9 to 40 years in females, and from 9 to 26 years old in males. 


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