Diversity Health

Human Papillomavirus (HPV): what it is

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common virus in the sexually active population. This is because it is an infection transmitted through contact with private parts of the partner.

Estimate-I know between 75 to 80 percent of sexually active people have had contact with the virus at some point in their lives.


Human human papillomavirus (HPV)

This virus is extremely complex due to the number of associated strains and the consequences (diseases) that can occur as a result of the infection.

There are about 120 different types of HPV, 40 of which mainly affect the genitals (vulva, vagina, cervix, penis and anus).

How does infection occur?

Human papillomavirus infects both men and women. Transmission can be done through any form of sexual, gender or oral contact. That is, by direct contact with the skin or mucous membranes or during childbirth.

There is also evidence of some cases of transmission through orogenital contact (contact between the mouth of one person and the genitals of another).

Due to easy transmission, there is an HPV vaccine included in the National Vaccination Program for girls and boys aged 10 years or less who have not yet had sexual contact (oral or genitalia) and who protect against 9 genotypes of the virus.nus).

What are the symptoms of HPV?

In most cases, the virus tends to be asymptomatic. The signs appear when the infection develops into associated diseases, such as different types of cancer and genital warts.

What is the treatment of human papillomavirus?

For now there is no cure for HPV infections. However, the immune system of most people can eradicate the infection from their body.

Normally, the HPV infection disappears after a year or two. But when it doesn’t, the infection can develop into disease. According to public health units, HPV is considered the second most important carcinogen, immediately after tobacco, which is associated with 5% of cancers in general and 10% of cancers in women.

When the infection develops, it can cause other diseases, such as gynecological cancers (cervical, vaginal and vulvarcancer) e cancer of the anus or genital warts or condyloma (lesions that occur in the areas of sexual contact – vulva, cervix, thighs, anus, rectum or urethra.)

The latter can be treated with the use of a specific product on the lesions. They may also be the target of methods such as cryotherapy, electrocoagulation, laser and surgical excision. However, they are not definitive treatments. Warts can come back after treatment and it is necessary to repeat it.

Risk factors for disease development

According to the CUF hospital’s network portal, some factors have been identified that increase the risk of infection and its progression to cancer:

HPV 16 and HPV 18 infection;

Infection when there are immunodeficiencys;

Early onset of sexual activity
Various sexual partners;

More deliveries
Genetic predisposition
Smoking habits;

Co-infection with other sexually transmitted microorganisms, such as Herpes Simplex Type 2 and Chlamydia;
Long-term use of oral contraceptives.

How to prevent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection?

Prevention requires the adoption of appropriate protective measures.

It is essential to learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of sexually transmitted infections, its consequences and how they are transmitted.

For girls it is important to frequent visits to gynecologist. From 25 years of age it is recommended perform cervical cytology (papsmear) annually It is HPV test from 30 years, even if it was covered by the vaccine.

Another measure that can help reduce the risk of HPV infection as well as for all other STDs is the use of condoms in sexual relationships. However, it is important to stress that in the case of human papillomavirus infection, areas not covered by the condom are not protected.

For this reason, it is important to discuss sexually transmitted infections with your partner, trying to understand what their sexual behavior was before their current relationship to check if they are people with risk factors.

And of course, take the HPV vaccine.

The information contained in this article is not intended to in any way replace the guidance provided by a healthcare professional or serve as a recommendation for any treatment.

Therefore, in case of discomfort, we recommend you to visit your treating physician to get the correct diagnosis and treatment.


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