Treatment of HPV
Human Papillomavirus or HPV can infect people through sexual intercourse or oral sex with someone who has the virus. HPV creates epithelial cells of the skin and mucous membranes such as the vagina, cervix, anus, penis head, throat, and mouth. The virus is sexually-transmitted and can spread in these mucous membrane environments.
There are around 100 types of HPV. Some low-risk HPV types cause genital warts and some can lead to high-risk HPV precancerous cells. HPV can infect anyone at any age. Those who are susceptible to the HPV infection can be anyone who has been sexually active at an early age, encountered many sex partners, or had a sex partner who has multiple partners.
A person infected with HPV may sometimes not realize he/she has been infected because symptoms are not easily detected or noticed. Sometimes the HPV infection goes away unaided. However, some types of HPV can lead to abnormal changes in the cell which leads to cancer – cervical cancer, cancer of the penis, or anus.
Some tests can be taken such as HPV DNA testing, Pap test screening, and acetic acid test, to see if a person is positive or negative with the virus. The doctor would know which kind of test will fit the person. If the result is positive, the doctor will recommend careful monitoring.
There is no treatment for the HPV virus itself. However, there is a treatment for the problems caused by the infection. As previously mentioned, HPV can cause the following:
- Genital warts can be treated either by medications or surgical intervention depending on the case/severity.
- Abnormal cells in the cervical area can be tested through Pap test and treatment would depend on the severity as well. Close monitoring and frequent check-ups are needed to prevent them from becoming cancerous.
- Cervical Cancer can be treated if diagnosed early on. Again routine screening and tests are key to prevention. But it will still depend on the person’s medical history.
- Other cancers caused by HPV are only treatable if detected early on. It is vital to have routine cancer checkups.
Treatment for the problems caused by HPV would be subjected to what Type of HPV infected the person. From there, doctors will determine the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.