What Is HPV

Human Papilloma Virus is a wide range of viruses types, which can cause different diseases. The most dangerous of them are the types of papillomavirus with high oncological risk – viruses that have the greatest ability to cause cancer of the genitals, in particular cervical cancer. The main manifestations of HPV are warts and flat condylomas.

How Can It Be Transmitted?

The most frequent way of spreading the infection is direct contact with the affected organs. Children can get the disease from the infected mother during childbirth, and adults can get infected during vaginal, anal or even oral sex. If there is an active virus in the saliva, it can be transmitted through kissing.

Incubation Period

From three weeks to several years.

Symptoms of HPV

The disease caused by this virus may not have symptoms at all. The main clinical manifestations of the infection with papillomavirus depend on the localization of the affected area and the type of virus. When the infection is localized in the urogenital tract, warts can appear on the skin and mucous of external genitals. Sometimes it is followed by itching, burning and sometimes bleeding.

Diagnosis of HPV

The most common way for doctors to diagnose HPV is examination of the patient (diagnose according to clinical manifestations). Papillomas and genital warts have so typical appearance that in most cases the doctor easily distinguishes them from all other types of skin lesions.

However, to assign the correct treatment of HPV, it is important to determine not only the presence of the virus in the body, but also its type. The diagnosis of the HPV includes several tests. They are: colposcopy, cytological study, molecular biological methods, histological methods, pap tests, etc.

The HPV examination complex should include microscopy of smears from the urethra, vagina and cervical canal, and bacteriological methods to find other possible sexually transmitted infections.

Treatment. Is HPV Curable?

Today, there is no single regimen of therapy to treat HPV. The choice of this or that method depends only on the external manifestations of the disease and the stage of the development of the disease. Unfortunately, there are no methods that completely eliminate the pathogen from the body. The process of treatment of papillomavirus infection is aimed only at eliminating the symptoms and strengthening the immunity.

One of the main methods of therapy of diseases caused by papillomavirus is the topical treatment of warts. It is necessary to prevent further spread of the infection. This method of treatment reduces the viral load on the body and the likelihood of contagion of other people. There are several methods of affecting the warts. They are special chemicals applied directly in the affected areas, diathermic coagulation, laser coagulation, radio-frequency method.

If HPV is Not Treated

As has been said above, some types of HPV can cause cervical cancer, so leaving this condition without treatment will have dire consequences. But although some other types of HPV are harmless, under certain conditions (reduction of local and/or general immunity, infection with sexually transmitted infections, etc.), this infection can become more active and manifest itself as the appearance of single or multiple warts that can also grow in amount and in size, thereby significantly deteriorating the quality of life and complicating sexual life. Also, warts can become inflamed, ulcerated due to prolonged mechanical impact to them.

Further Reading