Thursday, June 30, 2011

How Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) affects you

Man and woman having anal sex. Ceramic, Moche ...Image via Wikipedia
The Human Papilloma Virus is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections around.  In addition to that, there are more than 40 human papilloma virus types that can be sexually transmitted which affect both males and females.  It also can affect the nose and throat.

What are the signs and symptoms?

In  90% of the cases the body's immune system clears the infection from the body on its own within two years of infection. But, sometimes HPV types can cause genital warts in males and females.  On rare occasions they can cause warts in the throats.

HPV causes 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer annually.  Less common, the HPV virus causes cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis anus, head and neck-including the tongue, tonsils and throat.

The symptoms include genital warts  which may initially appears as a small bump or cluser of bumps in genital area. Diagnosis is usually by visually by visualizing.  They usuallyy appear withing two weeks of sexual contact.

How is HPV transmitted?

Genital contact during vaginal and anal sex.  It may also be passed through oral sex, heterosexual and homosexual activity.  Even if one of the partners is asymptomatic, a person that is infected may still pass the disease along.  It is also possible to get two separate strains of HPV at the same time.

Prevention

Latex condoms may lower the risk of transmission.  Keep in mind though that genital to genital contact is all that is needed to transmit the disease so a condom may not provide 100% protection.

Vaccines are now available for both male and females.  The vaccinations consist of three shots over six months.  It is important however that in females PAP smear be continued in women  irregardless of vaccine status.

Treatment

There is usually no specific treatment for HPV.  The genital warts may be reated with creams and various other treatment modalities.

Sources:

"HPV" http://www.webmd.com/




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