Human papilloma virus (HPV)

HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS (HPV)

  • HPV is the name given to a group of very common viruses

  • These viruses mainly impact the genitals, throat and the mouth

  • The use of HPV vaccines can largely prevent the spread and intensity of the disease

  • Conditions like genital warts and cancers can be caused by HPV infection

HPV is a non-curable disease

Spread of HPV infections

  • Unprotected sexual intercourse (vaginal, oral or anal) with infected individual

  • By sharing unclean sex toys

  • Through kissing or close bodily contact

  • Through cuts and open wounds in the skin

Human pappiloma virus (HPV) symptoms, treatment and prevention

Symptoms of HPV Infections

In most cases, HPV is asymptomatic. However, these signs and symptoms do appear in some cases:

  • Small/large cauliflower shaped bumps in the genital area, called as genital warts

  • Pelvic pain

  • Anaemia

  • Discharge from the vagina

Complications caused by HPV Infections

  • Vulvar cancer

  • Vaginal cancer

  • Cervical cancer (most common)

  • Anal Cancer

  • Cancer of Penis

  • Oropharyngeal cancer- cancer on back of the tongue and tonsils

Prevention of HPV Infections

  • Indulge only in protected sexual intercourse. This may still not protect completely as condom doesn't cover complete genital area

  • Avoid sexual intercourse with multiple partners

  • HPV vaccine should be taken before the age of 26. This protects against warts and major cancers

Treatment of HPV Infections

  • HPV, which is most commonly diagnosed with a PAP smear test, does not have a definitive cure

  • Usually, the treatment is symptomatic

  • In case of cancer, anti-cancer medication is prescribed and other oncological procedures are performed like surgery or chemotherapy