Dr. Saywer: Oh yes, they certainly can. HPV stands for human papilloma virus, certain strains of which can cause genital warts and/or lead to cell changes that can be pre-cancerous. Here’s an unglamorous maxim… you can get something, wherever you put something, not exactly Shakespeare I know, but very true. Quite often a woman may have genital warts around her cervix, never knowing they’re even there. She has sex with her guy, who, unless he’s prepared to perform a thorough pre-insertion gynecological exam, will be unaware of the dangers lurking within. The deed is done, and HPV is successfully passed from one to another. The male may develop symptoms in the next few weeks… or not, and so if he decides to have sex with a different partner, this new partner is now at risk to be the next beneficiary of this little gift that keeps on giving. How can you avoid HPV? Never have sex (OK, doesn’t work for everyone), always use a condom (not 100% effective, but drastically reduces your risk), and try to keep your number of different sexual partners to a minimum. If you can’t remember names and faces, that’s never a good sign.
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