You might have heard about the virus HPV. Are you interested to know more about it? If so, then you need to read this article. It will tell you about HPV, how it is spread, the sign and symptoms, and its cures.
What is HPV?
HPV (Human Papilloma virus) is a DNA virus from the papilloma virus family that affects humans. There are more than 100 varieties of HPV. Although the majority of these varieties cause no symptoms in humans, some types can cause warts, while others can lead to the cancers of the cervix, vagina, penis, oropharynx, anus, and vulva. Recent researches have linked HPV with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.
More than 30 to 40 types of HPV are transmitted through sexual contact. Some types cause genital warts- which is a very dangerous disease. Although most of the HPV infections don’t lead to cancer, some types of genital HPV can lead to cancer of the cervix (the passage between the vagina and the uterus).
How Is HPV Spread?
Most commonly, HPV is spread through direct sexual contact. Genital warts, the most obvious sign of HPV infection, are highly contagious. Research showed that about two-thirds of people who have sexual contact with a partner with genital warts will develop warts, usually within three months of contact.
Signs and Symptoms of HPV:
As mentioned, the most easily identified sign of HPV infection is the genital warts. Genital warts are fresh-colored growth that can be raised flat, or cauliflower-shaped. They can either be small or large or can appear alone or in clusters.
The good news is that most of the time HPV infection clears out all by itself. But when it doesn’t treatment is needed. There are many treatment options for HPV.
One thing that is very important here is that there is no absolute cure for HPV. For now, most HPV treatments focus on the symptoms of the infection.
HPV Positive, No Symptoms:
If you have been tested positive for HPV, don’t panic. It doesn’t mean that you would need treatment right away. However, after a positive test, your doctor may suggest to monitor yourself and take all the possible and necessary precautions. For women, doctors swab cells from the cervix and get them analyzed from the laboratory. The analysis looks for DNA or genetic material of HPV within the body cells. The purpose of this analysis is to detect high-risk HPV types. No specific tests of HPV that cause cancer are available for men at the present time.
Treatment of HPV Infection:
If the HPV infection has lead to abnormal cell changes in the body, the following treatment options are available:
Watch and Wait:
Most of the times the body, itself, cures the HPV infection. Cervical cancer clears on its own within two years of detection. Moreover, sometimes the cell changes (known as cervical dysplasia) and heals on its own.
This method involves freezing the abnormal cells with liquid nitrogen.
Commonly referred to as cone biopsy, this procedure removes the abnormal areas.
LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure):
Through this procedure, the abnormal cells are removed through an electrical current.
Treatment of HPV infection with Genital Warts:
The treatment methods of HPV infection with genital warts is as follows:
The genital wart is frozen with the help of liquid nitrogen.
- Trichloroacetic acid is an effective therapy. In this treatment, trichloracetic acid is applied onto the surface of warts. You can use this medicine at home.
- Other medicines, which can be applied to affected areas at home, include Podofilox and Sinecatechins. However, these medicines should not be used during pregnancy.
- The treatments used by doctors include topical medicines like trichloroacteric acid (TCA), bichloroacetic acid (BCA), resins like podophyllin resins, injections like interferon injections and creams like fluorouracil.
In this method, the infected part is cured through surgery in which the infected cells are cut out with the help of a scalpel.
HPV Treatment – Keeping Things Under Control:
This article has informed the reader as to what the HPV virus is and what its cures are. In conclusion, although no specific treatment of HPV has been developed so far, yet the above-mentioned treatments help to keep the virus under control. Through these treatments, the damage has been minimized.