Condoms have been hyped as master protectors against Sexually Transmitted Infections.However,health experts are warning that in as much as condoms decrease the transmission rates of the most life threatening viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis B and C its not a full proof.
Reproductive health expert Nelly Mugao said that even as we take protective measures using condoms against most STIs including HIV/AIDs,the rubber sheaths cannot prevent against the Human papilloma Virus(HPV) as we enjoy the ‘goodies’.
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection to a point where it has been proven that all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives.
Condoms offer sixty percent prevention of HPV thus the virus can spread through skin-to-skin contact with infected areas of the skin not covered by the condom such as the anus,scrotum or the vulva.
For unmarried women and men condoms have been popularly used to protect against STIs.But for a virus whose disease has no symptoms,the inefficacy of condoms allows for faster and wide spread.Especially amongst those with multiple sex partners.
The only hundred percent proven effective method to prevent HPV transmission is abstinence from any sexual contact,including anal,oral and vaginal sex.Since it may not be realistic then Dr Mugo advices people to remain monogamous while in a relationship.
HPV can be spread through kissing,touching an infected organ or through oral sex.
Virus is found in the flora of the penis,scrotum and vagina,vulva or anus of a person who has HPV.
The younger you are when you start having sex the greater you are at a risk of HPV infection.
Women can be carriers of the viruses without having symptoms and pass it unknowingly to their partner.
But the chance of females infecting men is estimated at less than five percent of the rates of male-to-female transmission.
There are more than hundred types of HPV,sixteen and eighteen causing approximately seventy percent of all cervical cancers worldwide.
According to the Standard Digital news,it is physically difficult to tell whether your partner has the HPV unless they have genital warts.Yet those who do not have visible signs can also spread the virus.