How does HPV spread?
Papillomaviruses are viruses that infect only humans. It is mainly a skin-borne disease. People can get an HPV infection by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone infected with the virus. People with HPV may not exhibit any symptoms for years after the initial infection.
What causes an HPV infection?
Some of the risk factors for human papillomavirus infection include:
Does HPV cause health problems?
HPV infections often resolve without treatment and do not cause any health problems. However, persisting infection can cause:
- Warts: Small or large, raised or flat, cauliflower-shaped lesions, observed in the genital area (genital warts), anal area, mouth and feet.
- Cancer in the larynx and vocal cords.
- Warts in the feet.
- Cervical cancer: Virtually all cases of cervical cancer are attributable to HPV infection. It may take 15 to 20 years for cervical cancer to develop in otherwise healthy women.
How is HPV diagnosed?
Women older than 30 years should have regular screenings. They may undergo the following tests to diagnose HPV:
- Cervical Pap test: This test uses a sample of cells from the cervix to identify cervical cancer.
- HPV DNA typing: This test uses a sample of cells from the cervix to determine if it contains genetic material causing cancer.
- Acetic acid test: This test helps in diagnosing genital warts.
- Tissue biopsy: This test confirms an HPV infection.
How is HPV treated?
Therapies to treat HPV infection include:
Drug therapy: Medicines are applied topically.
Surgical therapy: When the patients have multiple warts over a large area, surgery is considered.
- Cryosurgery: Cold nitrogen that destroys warts.
- Electrosurgery: High-frequency electric currents that destroy warts or tumors
- Surgical excision of warts with a scalpel and scissors.
- Carbon dioxide laser ablation: Carbon dioxide laser that destroys warts or tumors.
- Cavitron Ultrasonic Surgical Aspiration: Ultrasonic waves excise the tumors or warts.
- Mohs surgery: A surgical procedure that removes cancerous tissue.
- Avoid skin-to-skin contact and sexual contact with your partner after warts appear.
- Use safe sex by using latex condoms. Condoms, however, do not guarantee complete protection from HPV.
- Only have sex with someone who only has sex with you (monogamy).
- Eat foods that are rich in folic acid and vitamin B12.
Is HPV dangerous?
HPV infections often resolve without treatment and do not cause any health problems. A persistent HPV infection may lead to warts, cancer of the mouth and throat, and cervical cancer. Virtually all cases of cervical cancer are attributable to HPV infection.
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Genital HPV Infection - Fact Sheet
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HPV TestThe Cervista HPV test (human papillomavirus infection test in women) is a screening test used with other tests such as Pap smear and colposcopy for screening the two HPV types most likely to cause cancer, and to identify all "high-risk" HPV types. Cervista HPV test is not recommended for routine screening or for women under the age of 30.
Gardasil HPV VaccineGardasil is the first vaccine available on the market to prevent cervical cancer, genital warts, and precancerous genital lesions due to HPV. The CDC recommends the HPV vaccine for girls 11 and 12 years of age. Girls as young as nine may begin the vaccine. The vaccine is also recommended for females between the ages of 13 through 26 who have not been previously vaccinated.
Genital Warts PicturesA wart in the moist skin of the genitals or around the anus. See a picture of Genital Warts (HPV) and learn more about the health topic.
Genital Warts in Men (HPV)The HPV virus (genital warts) in men can cause health problems. Genital warts are confined primarily to the moist skin of the genitals or around the anus. Genital warts are caused by the human papillomaviruses (HPVs), which are transmitted through sexual contact.
Genital Warts (HPV) Infection in Women
Genital warts is a sexually transmitted infection (STI, STD) caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). It is the most common STD in the US. The warts can appear anywhere on the skin where sexual contact has occurred.
The warts look like raised, flesh-colored lumps or bumps that have a cauliflower-like appearance. Signs and symptoms of genital warts in women include vaginal, vulva, or groin pain, itching, and burning where the wart(s) is.
Treatment can remove warts or lesions, but it does not prevent spread of the virus, and the warts usually grow back. Removing genital warts does not prevent the infection from spreading elsewhere on the body.
There is no cure for genital warts, and there is no vaccine to prevent them; however, there is a vaccine to prevent infection from four common types of HPV. Gardasil vaccine available for female adolescents and teens to prevent HPV infection and cervical cancer.
How Can You Get Cervical Cancer?The cervix is the part of a woman’s reproductive system that connects the vagina to the uterus. When there is an abnormal cancerous growth of tissue in the cervix, it is known as cervical cancer. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a major cause of cervical cancer, and the HPV vaccine has reduced cervical cancer rates.
HPV (Human Papillomavirus) InfectionHPVs or human papillomaviruses are a group of viral infections of the skin and mucous membranes. Certain high-risk types of HPV infection cause certain cancers (cervical, penile, anal, vaginal, and oral). There are no signs or symptoms of HPV infection. HPV infection is an extremely common STD and is highly contagious. People are at higher risk of getting HPV infection if they have multiple sex partners, a weakened immune system, or breaks in the skin. HPV vaccinations prevent HPV infection. Treatment for HPV infection is antiviral medication. There is no cure for HPV infection.