- Human papilloma virus is one of the most common viruses that affects humans. Around 50 % of sexually active adults get HPV at some point in their lifetimes.
- It is spread by skin and genital contact. Vaginal, anal, and oral sex can lead to the transmission of HPV. Kissing and touching the genitalia of an infected person can also lead to contraction of the virus.
- HPV infects the keratinizing or mucous membrane of the skin, leading to koilocytes formation. It causes genital warts, cervical dysplasia and cancers, and penile carcinomas in human beings.
- Around 100 types of HPV have been identified on the basis of DNA fragment analysis. These are further sub-divided into low-risk and high-risk types. Around 12 low-risk types and 15 high-risk types have been identified. Low-risk types are responsible for warty growths in human beings while the high-risk types usually develop into cancers.
- Risk factors contributing the development of HPV-related disorders are; smoking, immune-compromised conditions, and/or having multiple sexual partners.
- The Pap smear and HPV test can be used as screening tests for cervical cancers. More than 90 % of cervical cancers are caused by HPV.
- A vaccine was approved by the FDA in 2006. However, recently a number of vaccine side-effects have been reported. This has lead to many people questioning of the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.
- HPV can be treated by certain conventional surgical procedures. These include; Conization, LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure, and Cryotherapy.
- HPV can be treated naturally by boosting the immune system and modifying lifestyle factors.
Labels: genital contact, human papillomavirus, multiple sexual partners, sexually active, smoking, warty growths