Dr. Diane Harper - How is the HPV virus contracted?

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The only way you can get an HPV virus is if you come into contact with another human being. It is a skin to skin contact virus, it's one skin surface rubbing against another skin surface and that's what allows that little viral particle to jump off of one skin and into the other.

Because HPV is a skin to skin contact infection, most often comes from sexual activity but that isn't always the case you can have infection any kind of skin to skin contact, whether that's fingers or whether it's genitals. We even know that underneath the fingernails, in that soft moist area, we have the same kind of HPV that infects the genitals so we know that HPV happens mostly by sexual transmission but it can be from any kind of skin to skin transmission.

Another myth about HPV infection is that you only get it because of sexual transmission. We know that about 10% of virgins have HPV infections and they've never had any kind of sexual contact. We also know that our younger children from the age of birth through the age of 11 years about 10 to 15% of those have this high risk HPV infections, so there isn't any one age at which our population doesn't already have HPV, it's very very common.