Thursday, February 5, 2015
Human papillomavirus is a DNA virus that affects the keratinocytes or mucous membranes at the genital areas and throat and mouth areas. It is a sexually transmitted virus. It has several different types; one can have more different types of HPV at the same time, and different types can lead to different health problems. In many cases, HPV infection has no particular consequences, the patients have no symptoms, this is what we call subclinical infection. The body’s immune system can deal with a subclinical infection, so the patient can heal within two years, without any medical treatment. However, HPV can be present in the body for several years, causing no symptoms, and one cannot foresee whether the subclinical infection will go away on its own or it will lead to serious health issues. In some cases, HPV can cause benign papillomas or lesions. It may cause genital warts in both sexes. There is a link between some types of HPV and cancers, i.e. cervical cancer, a disease that might be fatal.
Human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection, about 40 types of HPV can infect you through sexual activities. If you are sexually active, chances are that you will come across HPV sometime in your life. Vaginal and anal sex activities are particularly risky, but you also take chances when you have oral sex or non-penetrative sex. There are types of HPV that infect the genital area; rarely, the same type of HPV may infect the throat, causing warts within, we call this disease recurrent respiratory papillomatosis.
Notice Signs and Symptoms of Human Papillomavirus Infection
Since human papillomavirus infection may not cause symptoms, infected persons might not know about their condition. This is why screening is important. If you have multiple sexual partners, you might be at risk. Get screened for HPV on a regular basis.
Prevention is vital. Use latex condoms and other barrier methods. You can prevent human papillomavirus infection if you get vaccinated. Young men and women – in their early teens to their mid-twenties – should get vaccines.
Genital warts can appear after several months of your getting infected. They are bumps or clusters of bumps at the genitals, outside the body or within the body. They can be small or large, lumpy, flat or cauliflower shaped. When you have such symptoms, turn to your doctor. Probably your warts will go away with time, but perhaps they will not. Either way, they will not turn into a cancer: this particular type of HPV does not lead to cancers. On the other hand, while the specific type of HPV that cause warts does not cause cancer, you can be infected with other, more dangerous types of human papillomavirus at the same time.
When you are infected with HPV, you can develop cervical cancer and other HPV-related cancers. Cervical cancer rarely has symptoms. By the time it does, it is in an advanced stage. This time, it is hard to handle. Prevention is the key. Screening tests can help a lot, because you will not experience symptoms. Other cancers – cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis or the back of the throat – caused by HPV have no signs and symptoms until their last stages.
Recurrent respiratory papillomavirus means that the patient may have warts within the throat.