The human papilloma virus or HPV is a common infection that causes abnormal growth of tissue in the skin of the body. There are over 100 different types of HPV, some of which cause warts on the hands and feet. More than 30 types of sexually transmitted and are known as the genital human papilloma virus.Genital HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in women and men.
HPV should not be confused with genital herpes, which is another sexually transmitted disease. And one or another disease caused by a virus, but HPV causes warts while the herpes blisters appear and wounds.Both diseases often have no symptoms. There is no cure for either of these diseases, but while the HPV immune system can suppress HPV, the herpes virus in the body in sleep mode and activate certain situations. Unlike herpes, certain types of HPV can cause cervical dysplasia (pre-cancerous changes in the cervix) in a small percentage of women.
HPV can be categorized as a small risk (which can cause genital warts) or high risk (which leads to predkancerogenih changes on the cervix if not treated promptly). Infection with certain types of HPV visokorizničnom is a major cause of cervical cancer maternnice, and may be associated with other genital diseases.
Most sexually active people were at some point in their lives exposed to HPV. The virus is spread through contact with infected skin or mucous membranes, usually sexual intercourse. Some studies have found that this virus may be transmitted in other ways, for example over a towel or underwear. Besides the genital tract, the genital HPV virus can infect the lining of the upper respiratory system or coupling of the eye. Most people with HPV do not feel the symptoms and not know they are infected.
HPV is usually detected gynecological examination and cervical smear - Pap test, which detects changes in the cervix. Doctors can perform the HPV test that accurately identifies high-risk type of HPV.
In most cases the body's immune system will successfully fight off infection. However, there are several treatments for warts caused by HPV, such as creams, cryotherapy, electrocoagulation, laser treatment, injection of interferon into any lumps or surgical removal. In addition, there is still no treatment that will completely cure HPV.
The vaccine Gardasil on which a lot of talk these days, used to treat two types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers. It is recommended to vaccinate women aged 11 to 25 years. Ideally every case, the vaccine should be given before they become sexually active. For now it is considered the best method of prevention of genital HPV to women.
Protection during sex can also prevent infection with genital HPV. Limiting the number of sexual partners and avoiding sexual contact with persons who have had multiple sexual partners can reduce infection editing capability. Condoms can provide some protection, but transmission is possible with parts that are not covered by a condom.
The human papilloma virus
HPV is a common infection that affects the skin and mucous membranes. The term refers to the HPV virus group. They are called papillomaviruses because certain types can cause warts or papillomas (warts). So far identified about 100 different HPV types, of which over 30 are spread during sexual activity. The types of HPV that infect the genital tract are called genital human papilloma viruses.
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease, but most people are not even aware that they are infected because they usually have no symptoms or health proleme. Some types of HPV cause warts on the hands or feet, while others cause genital warts - single or multiple bumps that appear in the genital area and may have a cauliflower shape. Certain types of genital HPV, known as high-risk HPV, are a risk factor for disease of cervical cancer and may affect the development of cancer of the anus, vagina, vulva or penis.
In almost all cases predkancerogenih cause changes in the cervix is HPV.
Most women who had genital warts in the past (but no more) will not feel the problems in pregnancy or childbirth. If genital warts develop during pregnancy, may increase and / or bleed. Genital warts, which grow larger during pregnancy, a woman can make it difficult to urinate. Genital warts in pregnancy may require medical removal. In addition, rarely happens that warts are blocking the birth canal and that the doctor must perform a cesarean section to birth to a baby.
In rare cases, pregnant women can pass HPV to her baby. The results are warts that develop in the throat babies (laringalna papillomatosis). This is a potentially life threatening condition of the baby, which requires a laser removal to prevent blockage of the airways. Fortunately, this is very rare, occurs in one of 30,000 cases of infected mothers.
It is not known when a person infected with HPV can transmit the virus, how long is an infected person can spread the virus and why some people are infectious HPV warts appear while others do not.
Types and differences of human papillomavirus
There are two categories of HPV high-risk and low risk.
Low-risk HPV - can cause genital warts, but do not cause pre-cancerous changes in the cervix. Most people with HPV do not even know they are infected because they did not get warts. Warts can appear weeks, months or even years after sexual contact with a person infected with HPV. Genital warts are most commonly associated with HPV types 6 and 11 In addition to these two types, the low-risk HPV include 42, 43, 44
High-risk HPV - can cause changes that lead to predkancerogenih changes on the cervix if not treated. If you have high risk HPV does not mean you have cervical cancer. Usually, high-risk HPV does not cause health problems and disappears by itself. High-risk HPV appears to be consistently one of the primary risk factor in the development of cervical cancer. Sexually transmitted high-risk HPV types include 16, 18, 25, 26, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 68, 69, and possibly several others.
Risk factors for the disease of HPV include:
- Changing the number of sexual partners. Sexual intercourse with more than one person increases the risk of developing HPV.
- Sexual intercourse with high-risk partner. Sexual intercourse with a person who has had multiple sexual partners before you, or has been infected with HPV increases their risk of infection.
- Smoking. If you have been exposed to HPV and smoking increases the risk of developing symptoms.The risk of developing predkancerogenog or cancerous condition also increases.
- If you have a damaged immune system. People with weakened immune systems, such as people suffering from AIDS and certain other diseases are at increased risk of HPV infection.
Signs and Symptoms of HPV
Most infected with human papilloma virus do not know they are infected because the virus itself does not cause symptoms.
Certain types of HPV are suitable for development of genital warts (single or multiple growths that appear in the genital area). They usually appear as soft, moist pink or swelling of skin color. They may be single or multiple, convex or flat, small or large, and sometimes appear in clusters and look like cauliflower.They can appear weeks or months after infection.
Genital warts can appear inside the vagina or outside the vagina, cervix, groin or around the anus.
In men, genital warts can appear on the penis, scrotum, thighs, groin and in or around the anus. Very rarely genital warts can appear in the mouth or throat in people, after having oral sex with a person infected with HPV.
Genital warts usually have no symptoms, but if you have symptoms, including itching, bleeding and pain.In addition, the warts can be drobiva.
HPV can be diagnosed by clinical (gynecological or urological examination), cytologic or histologic examination, and using methods of molecular biology.
HPV can be diagnosed by Pap test - to make a smear of the cervix to be tested, and reveals whether there are any in the sample pre-cancerous or cancerous cells.
If the warts are small and can not be good to see a visual inspection, then the doctor may do a colposcopy - the test that uses a colposcope, an instrument with a magnifying glass to better see the vagina and cervix.This examination helps the doctor to detect warts and other abnormal tissue.
Treatment and prevention of HPV
There is no cure for HPV, but most infected people do not need treatment, because their body just successfully fight the virus. Less than 1% of patients with HPV infection develop problems such as genital warts.
There are several treatments for genital warts caused by HPV. Treatment depends on the following factors: the size and location of warts, their numbers, the cost of treatment, patient preferences, various side effects. The goal of treatment is to remove warts and unpleasant symptoms.
Genital warts can be treated with creams and gels (antifungals, caustics, interferon inducers and interferon-alpha I), which are taken to a doctor's prescription.
Besides medication, warts can be removed by medical procedures, including cryotherapy, chemicals and acids, electrocautery, laser or surgical excision.
Although in many cases, the immune system itself solve the HPV virus can travel to the lower levels of tissue and remain there. This can cause a recurrence of genital warts. It is recommended that the patient pay more attention to the recurrence, which typically occurs within 3 months after treatment.
HPV is often tolerable condition, but living with the virus can be uncomfortable and interfere with the patient. The period after the diagnosis can be quite stressful, because the patient may feel shame and fear.
For the prevention of HPV are currently used vaccine Gardasil. According to clinical studies, it is very effective against the virus infection with HPV types 16 and 18, which cause over 70% of cervical cancers, and also protects against HPV types 6 and 11 that cause about 90% of genital warts.
Vaccination is recommended for women aged 11 to 25 years. Ideally every case, the vaccine should be given before they become sexually active. For now it is considered the best method of prevention of genital HPV to women.
Women who are vaccinated should continue with the strategy of prevention, which includes a Pap test and pelvic examination. The vaccine does not protect against other sexually transmitted diseases.
For those who are sexually active, this may be difficult because most people do not know whether they are infected. However, there are many ways you can reduce the risk of infection such as:
- Monogamy - long-term relationship with uninfected partner may help prevent infection. But the virus is so common that even this does not guarantee that you will not obolijeti of HPV.
- Reducing the number of sexual partners. Those who are in long-term relationship, reducing the number of partners, will reduce the risk of disease.
- Use a condom. Condoms may provide some protection if the area covered with HPV infection.
- Avoiding sexual intercourse with a partner who has genital warts. Person from whom the visible genital warts are advised to abstain from sex until the warts are removed.
- A regular Pap test. These tests do not prevent the spread of HPV, but it may help to identify abnormal changes in cells, which could eventually lead to cancer or other complications.