Published On: Thu, Dec 11th, 2014

HPV transmission via sex toys: One study’s findings

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is by far the most prevalent sexually transmitted infection (STI) reported, new or new and existing combined, HPV accounts for approximately 79 million of the total STIs in the United States.

Global Dispatch 200x119The CDC says most sexually active men and women will get HPV at some point in their lives, which translates to everyone’s at risk.

Although the body’s immune system clears most HPV naturally within two years (about 90 percent), some infections can persist causing diseases like genital warts and more seriously, cervical and other cancers.

We know that person to person sexual activity can spread HPV, but can sharing sex toys spread HPV from one woman to another?

A recent Indiana University School of Medicine study suggests that the potential is there, according to the research published in the journal, Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Researchers set out to determine the potential of HPV transmission via shared sex toys, and determine whether cleaning practices implemented by the study participants were effective.

Twelve women who have sex with women and men from the university were recruited to use two different style vibrators–one composed of thermoplastic elastomer, the other of silicone. After using each sex toy on separate occasions, the participants provided self-collected vaginal and vibrator samples (obtained from the vibrator shaft and handle), collected immediately after use, immediately after cleaning with a commercially available cleaner, and 24 h after cleaning.

The detection of the HPV was performed using the Roche Linear Array HPV Genotyping Test.

What did they find?

HPV was detected in the vaginal samples of 9/12 (75%) women. Vibrator 1 shaft swabs were HPV positive before cleaning in 89% (8/9), immediately after cleaning in 56% (5/9), and 24 h after cleaning in 40% (2/5) of those that were HPV positive immediately after cleaning.

Vibrator 2 shaft swabs were HPV positive before cleaning in 67% (6/9), immediately after cleaning in 44% (4/9), and 24 h after cleaning in none.

HPV was detected on at least one vibrator immediately after use in the women with vaginal HPV.

Researchers conclude there is a potential for HPV transmission via shared sex toy use, and it is additionally supported by continued detection of HPV up to 24 hrs. after standard cleaning.

Living with HPV and feeling alone? You are not alone, there are many people out there just like you. Visit PositiveSingles.com, the largest dating site for people living with STIs.



There has been a protective HPV vaccine available in the US since 2006; however, according to CDC Principal Deputy Director, Ileana Arias, PhD, we know that right now only about one out of every three girls and one out of every seven boys have received all three doses of the vaccine for protection.

On Dec. 10, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Gardasil 9 (Human Papillomavirus 9-valent Vaccine, Recombinant) for the prevention of certain diseases caused by nine types of Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Covering nine HPV types, five more HPV types than Gardasil (previously approved by the FDA), Gardasil 9 has the potential to prevent approximately 90 percent of cervical, vulvar, vaginal and anal cancers.

Looking for more information on sexually transmitted infections? Are you seeking advice or want to meet someone who will understand your situation?  Visit one of the largest STD dating sites and become informed. PositiveSingles is the most trusted online dating site for people with HPV, Syphilis and other STDs and has countless members in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and Europe. Get the information on the latest treatments and locations to receive appropriate health care or find the support you need and have your questions answers.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. gina says:

    for months i has be on tablets given to me at the hospital for hpv, They said I have to be taking it for life just to treat and reduced the warts and i stopped taken the tablet because no point for taking tablet when u won’t get cure from it and i do some research on line i was recommend to dr mazi for his natural cure to eliminate hpv in my body they said he is the most trustful herbalist for serious infection, few days after I emailed dr mazi for speedy help after three weeks taking his natural medicine i totally got cured. this is my biggest proud I’m not HPV positive anymore. i finally got cured out of this infection i has be living with for three years, I also recommend everyone suffering from human papillomavirus to get the cure and eliminate it forever. herbalist email; [email protected]

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