HPV, also known as the human papillomavirus, can be everything from unseen and asymptomatic to a very serious virus, so if you are worried about this virus, there are certain steps you can take in regards to HPV prevention. HPV is a sexually transmitted infection that currently affects around 20 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Many forms of HPV have no symptoms and are cleared by the immune system after a few years, although there are forms of HPV that can cause genital warts or even certain types of cancer.
Since HPV is transmitted sexually, most forms of HPV prevention will focus on controlling the sexual experience. Abstinence is, of course, the best form of HPV prevention, since it is highly unlikely that you will contract HPV without genital contact with an infected person. If abstinence doesn't sound all that appealing to you, there are a few other forms of HPV prevention that have some effect. Using a condom, from start to finish every time you have sex, can reduce your chances of getting HPV, but as HPV can spread through contact in genital areas not covered by the condom, they are not considered to be a true form of HPV prevention. Along those same lines, having only one partner, or just a few partners, can reduce the chances that you come in contact with HPV.
Finally, there are vaccines that are effective against some of the common forms of HPV. These types of HPV preventative measures only work on a small number of the over 100 different types of HPV, but they work on the types of HPV that can turn into genital warts and cancer. The vaccines are called Cervarix and Gardasil, and work best when given to girls and boys before they become sexually active.