The STD you probably don’t know about: mouth cancer.
Oropharyngeal cancer is commonly caused by smoking, drinking a lot of alcohol and chewing beetle nut (see my posts on India for more) but a possible culprit that’s on the rise is the HPV virus.
The Human Papillomavirus lives around the vagina, vulva, cervix, anus and penis. A lot of girls now are getting vaccinated against it, but not boys – even though they can get HPV from oral sex too.
The virus can look like warts, and for most people it clears up in 2 years – 70% in 1 year – but for 5-10% of women it can turn into cervical cancer.
Men can’t get the vaccine for free, but hey you can pay £400 to get it privately. Doesn’t seem fair to me. It means in a perfect world it can’t be passed on if one partner is vaccinated, but what about gay men?
Women of any age can get the vaccine but only teenager girls can get it for free in the UK…but Whitehall says the evidence isn’t strong enough to warrant the cost of vaccinating the country. Yet.
Still, time to pop to the GP?