What is HPV?
HPV stands for the Human Papilloma Virus, a relatively contagious virus that is one of the most common causes of sexually transmitted diseases (STD).
More than 40 types of HPV can infect the genital and anal areas. This virus is caused by skin to skin contact. The reason it is called Papilloma is because the virus can produce papillomas or warts.
Almost anyone who is sexually active will be get some form of HPV in their life. It is estimated that there are 79 million Americans infected with HPV with an additional 14 million being infected each year.
Most people with HPV do not develop symptoms or health problems from it. In 90% of cases, the body’s immune system clears HPV naturally within two years.
But sometimes, certain types of HPV can cause genital warts in males and females. Rarely, these types can also cause warts in the throat. It is believed that the virus enters the body through tiny abrasions on the skin. It might attack the cell of the skin and months later, produce a wart at the spot where it entered.
Other HPV types can cause cervical cancer. These types can also cause other, less common but serious cancers, including cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and head and neck (tongue, tonsils and throat). That’s why it’s extremely important for women to also have pap smears to check for abnormalities and cervical cancer.
While the body can fight off the virus, some people may have recurring or persistent genital warts. This may be due to a deficiency in their immune system and tests for HIV would be recommended. Symptoms
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