The Hpv Virus (Human papillomavirus) is actually a fairly common sexually transmitted disease. The virus can cause genital warts and lead to certain cancers in certain people. There is not a way to tell who may experience serious health problems more than others. It may depend on a person's current health such as their immune system, etc. In most cases, the virus will go away on it's own. Most people who have Hpv, do not even know it; unless they have visual symptoms, such as genital warts.
So what does it mean to have Hpv? The human papillomavirus is a type of infection that is transmitted through intercourse and also from skin to skin contact. There are approximately over 100 different types of of Hpv infections and roughly 40 of them affect the genital areas. Statistics show about 5 to 10% of women that are infected with the Human Papillomavirus, also will more than likely show a higher risk of viruses developing some precancerous lesions of the cervix which can then lead to cervical cancer. Just because you have HPV, does not mean you will get cervical cancer.There aren't too many symptoms of Hpv besides the Hpv warts themselves.
You can get Hpv from being intimate with an infected partner; whether or not the warts are visible. Using protection greatly reduces, but does not really completely stop the risk of getting or spreading Hpv. The warts might disappear on their own. If the warts seem to not go away, the CDC recommends that you see your Doctor to treat or remove them.
Did You Know?
The Hpv infection can stay in your body even after treatment; so warts can come back throughout your lifetime.
Hpv warts are usually harmless. More often than not, it is the warts you can see which are probably not the ones to worry about. There are Hpv warts that are hard to find since they are very small or inside your vagina or in your anus. They may be so small that you can't see them with the naked-eye. If you do have a lot of pubic hair, it's not a bad idea to check yourself thoroughly; especially if you are sexually active.
The one thing you need to know, it is that there is currently not a cure for Hpv. If you get the virus, more than likely you will have the virus forever.
Having high risk Hpv is not the same as having cervical cancer. It is usually that most of high risk types do not cause any types of health problems and do go away on their own. However; even if the virus does cause damage, getting your regular pap tests and your exams; even with any abnormal cells found, can be treated to prevent cancer from ever developing.
Different Strains Of Hpv
There are over 100 strains of Hpv. Hpv 6 and 11, are considered low strains and usually cause genital warts only. Higher strains, such as Hpv 16 and 18, are high risk strains that can lead a better chance of getting cervical cancer; and according to statistics, those strains are responsible for more than 70% of all cervical cancers.
There also are other Hpv strains which are also considered high risk. These include: Hpv 31, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52 and 58. These are just a few named strains.
It is usually somewhere around 10 to 15 years of slow progression of development of precancerous lesions.
Because of the slow development, researchers say that it does provide plenty of time for detection and treatments of those lesions, but you do have to make sure and get them checked as soon as you find them. You just may never know that you even have the virus, cancer or any pre-cancer lesions.
According to the CDC and ACS; usually, any progression to the cancer-that is not invasive, can most of the time, almost always be prevented if and when standard prevention is used; but lesions still can cause a few problems that lead to surgeries, which many times involve the loss of fertility.
How Do You Know If You Have Hpv?
Most people with the virus do not even know if they have Hpv. Do not get HIV and Hpv mixed up as since they are two (2) totally different types of infections. Hpv warts are the most common symptom s of the virus. If the Hpv virus persists, which is normally in about 5% to 10% of women that get infected with the HPV virus; there's a higher risk of developing precancerous lesions which then in turn, can lead to cervical cancer.
There is a test now that is a DNA test to help see if you have the Hpv virus. The test is offered when you get your pap smear test done. The American Cancer Society does now recommend women over 30 years of age be offered the DNA test along with pap smears. You need to know, that the test is "not" recommended for ages under 30, because it is common to get a Hpv infection.
Again, men are affected by the virus as well. Hpv in men can cause penile cancer, anal cancer and throat cancer. However; (Please note that penile cancer is rare because of circumcisions), anal cancer and throat cancer. Gay men have a higher chance of getting anal cancer. Hpv is not just linked to cervical cancer~ it is also responsible for throat cancers in men & women, vaginal cancers, anal cancer, vulva, and more.
Some HPV Facts You Need To Think About For Men
About 1% of sexually active men in the U.S. have genital warts at any one time. Cancers of the penis, anus and back of the throat are uncommon, and only a subset of these cancers are actually related to Hpv. According to statistics, each year in the U.S. there are about:
400 men who get Hpv-Penile Cancer
1,500 men who get Hpv Anal Cancer
5,600 men who get cancers of the back of throat but many of these cancers are related to smoking and alcohol use, not Hpv
Some HPV Facts You Need To Think About For Women
Using condoms may help aide in the prevention of Hpv and getting genital warts, but since it is contracted from skin to skin contact, all areas of using a condom are not protected. You will still need to get regular exams and pap testsThere are areas of the scrotum that does not get fully covered by a condom which can therefore spread the virus from contact to skin