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Posted: March 22, 2012

Make love, not warts

Sex & HPV is a public seminar that talks about the effects of genital warts (HPV) in both men and women.

Dr. Unjali Malhotra, the Medical Director at Options for Sexual Health, and one of the sponsors of the event said, “We are making progress with women’s knowledge of HPV through conversation during regular pap smear appointments. However, when it comes to males, we are falling behind and finding that the many consequences of the infection with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) beyond warts are not well known.”

Cranbrook Schools Sexual Health Committee along with OPTions for Sexual Health received funding from BC Cancer Agency, Merck Canada and the United Way to present two HPV information sessions entitled Sex & HPV on March 29 in Lecture Hall 250 at the College of the Rockies.

The afternoon session runs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and the evening session from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Both will feature Dr. Malhotra who will explain how HPV is transmitted, its impact on women and men, who should consider getting vaccinated, and how the vaccine works. Adults, youth, parents and educators are welcome to this free event.

The sessions are not all talk. “Healthy sexuality is something worth celebrating,” said Linda Douglas, one of the event organizers, “and in that spirit we’ll be giving away Apple iPad 2’s to a couple of lucky participants. We will have lots of information along with food and refreshments which will be next to the information booths.”

According to Dr. Malhotra, “Talking about health matters such as HPV is very important to make it clear that everyone’s, including men’s health, should be spoken openly about. Awareness that leads to action saves lives

The virus, which is transmitted from person to person through sexual activity, is also linked to the development of throat, rectal and other cancers in both men and women. HPV infection is preventable: B.C. has an active school-based vaccination program for girls, and is considering national recommendations to include boys. It is intended to protect them well before they are sexually active.

The seminars will also be an opportunity to remind women and their partners of the importance of regular Pap testing. Pap testing saves lives that could be lost to cervical cancer. As Dr. Malhotra said: “When it comes to remembering to have this test as a regular part of a woman’s personal health care, two heads are better than one.”

To find out more about OPTions for Sexual Health visit –


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