Myth Busters Watch our expert doctors bust some of the common HPV-related myths.

Popular Myths

Myth E. There is only one type of HPV and you know when you have it.
Myth F: I always insist on using a condom so I am not at risk of HPV.
Myth V: I just found that I have HPV.This means my partner cheated me and I have proof.

HPV Vaccine

Myth C. The safety of the HPV vaccine is unproven. The vaccine could be the cause of the virus. It can also lead to neurological disorders, infertility and even cancer. Getting the vaccine is just not worth the risk.
Myth B. If you didn’t get the HPV vaccine as a teenager, you missed your window. There no longer any benefit from the vaccination.
Myth D. The HPV vaccine only benefits women and girls. There is no reason for men or boys to get it.

For Women

Myth S: If I had a pep smear 2 weeks ago and haven’t heard back from gynecologist, I shouldn’t worry about it. It means everything is fine and I am clear until my next exam in a year.
Myth T: If I had a normal Pap smear, it means that I definitely don’t have an HPV-associated cancer.
Myth U: Once I’ve had my HPV vaccination, I don’t need to worry about get an annual Pap test.
Myth Y: I don’t need to worry about getting an annual Pap test because I’ve had the same sexual partner for many years.
Myth X: My husband and I both have HPV so I must have given it to him since men can’t infect their partner.

For Moms

Myth I: I don’t need to worry about vaccinating my children until they are sexually active, so I can just wait until they are in their late teens.
Myth J: I don’t need to vaccinate my son. The vaccine is only given to girls.
Myth K: If I vaccinate my kids, they will wind up engaging in sexual activity earlier and that’s not something I want to encourage.
Myth H: I didn’t vaccinate my children in their early teens and now they are older and sexually active. Therefore, it’s too late for me to vaccinate them now.
Myth L: I don’t need to bring up the HPV vaccination with my pediatrician. They will tell me about it if they think my kids should get the vaccine.

HPV-Associated Cancers

Myth O: HPV causes cancer by immediately entering your cells and making them replicate uncontrollably.
Myth P: If someone has HPV, then the only cancer they really need to worry about is cervical cancer. Other HPV-associated cancers are rare and curable.
Myth Q: No one really knows what causes the so called “HPV-related” cancers. There is no proof that these cancers are really caused by HPV. It’s just a guess.
Myth R: Only women need to worry about HPV-related cancers. There is no reason for men to be concerned.
Myth N: When it comes to HPV-associated cancers such a cervical cancer, are there any noticeable health disparities between people of color or the economically disadvantaged and the general population?

Anal Cancer

Myth Z: If I have rectal bleeding, it must be hemorrhoids so I shouldn’t worry about it too much.
Myth A: A digital rectal exam (“DRE”) is painful and unnecessary.
Myth AB: If I had a colonoscopy within the last 2 years, I don’t need to be concerned if I have rectal bleeding.
Myth AC: Anal cancer is so rare that I don’t need to worry about it. There is nothing that puts me at risk.

Nutritional Supplements

Myth G: There have not been clinical studies on any nutritional supplements that would show that they can help expedite the clearance of the HPV infection.