» By ANTHONY IRIZARRY – airizarry1@my.apsu.edu

I sat in the middle of a room in the APSU clinic with three women as they waited for me to begin my interview.

The three women—Kristy Reed, nurse practitioner, Ashley Young, graduate assistant and Jill deGraauw, family nurse practitioner—all worked at the clinic. In spite of my apprehension about the first question, I let fly the breakthrough inquiry.

“So what is HPV?” I asked all three professionals.

“It is a virus which is spread primarily through sex. There are also 40 different types,” Reed said.

The virus is spread through direct skin-to-skin contact.

If a person contracts genital human papillomavirus, or HPV, there are treatments that help alleviate or remove the symptoms such as genital warts and cervical cancer. However, there is no actual cure for the virus.

HPV eventually leaves an individual’s body over the years. The amount of years depends on the strength of a person’s immune system.

“It’s also spread orally,” Young said.

“A person can have HPV even if years have passed since he or she had sexual contact with an infected person.

“Most infected persons do not realize they are infected or that they are passing the virus on to a sex partner. It is also possible to get more than one type of HPV,” according to the webpage ‘Genital HPV Infection-Fact Sheet’ on the CDC website. (www.cdc.gov) There are many misconceptions and myths about HPV. The following is a list of the most prominent incorrect assumptions about HPV. TAS