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Can HPV Go Away on its Own?

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You might be surprised!

We’ve said it before, but in case you need a reminder: pretty much everyone you know has had HPV (human papillomavirus infection). It is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) so it is not at all unusual if you receive an HPV diagnosis.

A few important things to know: one, HPV is so incredibly common. Two, HPV can actually go away on its own. In fact, according to the CDC, our immune systems can clear the STI within two years. And three, the HPV vaccine is available for everyone under the age of 45, and it's never too late to get your first dose.

However, there are about 150 known types of HPV, and while some of them go away on their own (these are the low-risk strains, which cause genital warts, for example), others won’t, and can possibly develop into something pretty serious. These are referred to as the high-risk strains because they can cause cervical, anal, and throat cancer.

The good news is the HPV vaccine protects against 9 strains of HPV viruses, including HPV types 16 and 18 (these are the ones that most often cause cancer). So even though it’s true that some strains for HPV do go away on their own, birth control (which is available for free or at a low-cost at your nearest The Right Time health center) and getting the vaccine are excellent tools to protect yourself in the future.

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Our partner health centers are focused on you. They provide access to all methods of birth control and free or low-cost birth control to those who need it.