Human papillomavirus (HPV) is regarded by The Centers for Diseases and Control Prevention (CDC) as the most prevalent sexual transmitted infection. There exist several types of HPV strains. Some are of medical significance such as the ones that cause genital warts and the ones that trigger cervical cancer.
Spread of HPV
HPV is a sexually transmitted infection, meaning indulgence in sexual acts (both oral and penetrative) with an infected individual may result in you getting infected. In some individuals, HPV is asymptomatic yet the persons are still infectious. If you are sexually active, you are at risk of being infected with HPV. Once you are infected, it may take several years for you to develop symptom and signs of infection.
Health Complications Associated With HPV
HPV infection under normal circumstance resolves on its own without medical intervention. But, in certain cases, some strains of HPV have been associated with causing genital warts as well as cancers of the female reproductive parts such as cervix and vulva.
Immunocompromised individuals are at greater risk of developing medical complications associated with HPV. Most cervical cancers are associated with HPV. If you are 21 years and above, it is recommended that you schedule routine gynecology clinic visit for Pap smear. This ensures early detection and hence prevention of developing cancer.
Management and Treatment of HPV
HPV has no cure. The associated medical conditions that it causes, however, are treatable. More so for genital warts. Treatment of cancer-related HPV is hinged on early detection and initiation of treatment, says Women's Aid Center.
Vaccines, as well as sexual behavioral change (practicing safe sexual intercourse, delaying sexual debut and having only one sexual partner), may greatly reduce your risk of contracting HPV. Consult your physician to learn more about the availability of vaccines and whether you are a suitable candidate for a shot.
HPV is a sexually transmitted infection that has been associated with genital warts and certain cancers of the female reproductive. Vaccines and safe sexual practices reduce the risk of getting infected.