HPV is the acronym for human papillomavirus.
HPV is a grouping of more than 150 various viri. Each HPV virus is large enough to be grouped into a group called an HPV type. HPV is the name of warts or papillomas some types of HPV can cause. There some HPV types that can lead to cancer especially cervical cancer. There are more than 4- different types of virus that can infect the genital areas of males and females. Some vaccines can prevent infections in the most common types of HPV.
How do people get HPV?
HPV is transmitted through intimate skin to skin contact. You can get HPV by having oral, vaginal or anal sex with someone who already has the virus. It is commonly spread through vaginal and anal sex. HPV is the most commonly transmitted sexual infection. Any people who are sexually active can get HPV even if you only have sex with one individual. HPV is so common that approximately all sexually active people will get it as some part of their lives. HPV can be passed even when there are no signs of an infection or symptoms and signs. You can develop symptoms years after your have sex with an individual who is infected. This makes it difficult to know when you first became infected.
Does HPV cause Health problem?
In the majority of cases, HPV will go away on its own and will not cause any health issues. However, when HPV does not leave, it can cause health problems like genital warts and cancer.
Genital warts typically appear as small bumps or a group of bumps in the genital area. These bumps can be large or small, flat or raised, shaped like cauliflower. You doctor would be able to diagnose warts by looking at the genital area.
HPV is known to cause cervical cancer and other cancers, including cancer of the penis, vagina, vulva and anus. It can also cause cancers in the back of the throat, along the base of tongue and tonsils or oropharyngeal cancer.
Cancer can take many years, sometimes decades, to develop after a person develops HPV. The types of HPV that can cause genital warts are not the same as those that can cause cancers.
Currently, there is not a way to know which people who have HPV will develop cancer and other health issues. People with weakened immune systems, especially those with HIV/AIDs are less able to fight off HPV virus and are more likely to develop health problems.
How Does HPV cause cancer?
HPV can cause normal cells in infected in the skin to change abnormally. Most f the type people will not see or feel these changes. IN most cases the body will fight off the infection, and the cells will go back to tomorrow. However, in some cases when the body does not fight off the virus, PV will cause visible changes and causes oropharyngeal cancer. Cancer can take years to develop. However, it is not clear whether haveing HPV alone is sufficient enough to cause oropharyngeal cancer. There can be other factors such as smoking or chewing tobacco.
Symptoms of oropharyngeal cancer.
The signs of oropharyngeal cancer include a persistent sore throat, hoarseness, earaches, enlarge lymph nodes, pain when you have to swallow. There is also unexpected weight loss. Sometimes you will have no signs or symptoms.
Each year in the U.S around 8,400 people are diagnosed with oropharynx related cancers; that may be caused by HPV. These cancers are three more times or common in men than women.
How Do you know if you have HPV?
There is not a test available to determine a person’s HPV status. Although they are no approved HPV to find HPV in the mouth or throat.
There are HPV that can be used to identify cervical cancer. These tests are recommended for screening women 30 years and older. The are not recommended in men, children or women longer than 30 years old.
The majority of people with HPV will not now that they are ever infected nor will they develeo health symptoms, or problems form it. Some people will develop genital warts and then find out that they have HPV then. Women may find out that they have HPV when that have abnormal Pap test results. Others may develop serious problems such as cancers.
What are the most common heath problems caused by HPV?
The HPV affects over 70 million American. About 14 million people each year become infected withHPV each year.
Genital warts- 360,000 people in the United States get genital warts each year.
Cervical Cancer – 11,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year.
To help prevent HPV all boys and girls ages 11 and 12 should get vaccinated.
Catch-up vaccinations are recommended for men over the age of 21 and females over the age of 26 if they were not vaccinated when they were younger. It is also recommended for gay and bisexual men to get vaccinated up to the age of 26. Also people with a compromised immune system, including those with HIV/AIDS) should get vaccinated to the age of 26, if they did not get fully vaccinated when they were younger.