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If You Don’t Have HPV, You’re Lucky (And There’s a Preventative Vaccine For You)

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Photo: Steve Debenport (Getty Images)

Did you know you have HPV? OK, maybe you don’t. But you might!

Luckily for you, there’s a vaccine for that, but almost one-quarter of Americans don’t have the luxury of a preventative shot since they may already have it. HPV, or human papillomavirus, is one of the most common Sexual Transmitted Infections (STIs) humans deal with. And you may not realize the severity, but it can lead to rectal, vaginal, penile, and throat cancer. Just ask Michael Douglas.

Here’s the tricky part: Men can’t be tested for HPV. Women can. They get their pap smears, but there’s no way for doctors to identify the virus in guys. What’s better, it’s extremely difficult to tell if you’re even infected since 90 percent of the time there aren’t any symptoms. It’s not as obvious as The Walking Dead out there so the next time you think going in without a jimmy hat, think again. Better yet, think about Michael Douglas and what he would say.

Here’s what you need to know about HPV and the vaccination.

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