What is it?

HPV can be divided into low-risk types and high-risk types. The former results in little warts on or around the genital and anal areas or in the mouth. The high-risk types cause cancer, that is to say, its preliminary stages. Cervical cancer is especially common.

Who has it?

Almost everyone is infected at some point in their lives, but only 20 percent will develop symptoms. For everyone else, the infection goes away by itself within 1 ½ years.

What to do?

Get vaccinated, the best time is before having sex for the first time. And German health insurance pays for the vaccine for anyone under 18. The warts can be treated with a salve. Condoms are only 50 percent effective here since HPV is contracted through skin to skin contact. That means if it looks like a wart – don’t touch it. Not with any part of the body.

What else do I not want to know?

It is entirely possible to get cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, and anus. Many people don’t know that. Maybe because there are no shocking pictures on condom packets.