Human Papillomavirus

Human Papillomavirus

Human Papillomavirus

HPV (human papillomavirus) refers to more than 150 related viruses spread from one person to another during skin-to-skin contact. These viruses also can be transmitted by sexual intercourse, including anal and oral sex and genital skin-to-skin contact. Some types of HPV cause genital warts, while others can lead to cervical cancer, vaginal and vulvar cancer, penile cancer, and anal cancer. In addition, all HPV types can lead to cancer in the mouth and throat and other less common cancers.

What is human papillomavirus infection?

HPV is an infection that’s caused by the human papillomavirus. It causes changes in the skin and tissues of your body, but it’s most commonly associated with cervical cancer. However, many other types of HPV infections, including oral and anal cancers. Most cases don’t lead to symptoms, but you can be infected without knowing. If you have sex with someone who has the virus–even if they use a condom–you may get HPV because it lives on the skin and spreads through contact. Testing for this common infection could prevent unnecessary health problems later in life.

HPV causes

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that infects humans and can be spread through sexual contact. Over 95-100 types of HPV exist, but only a few types lead to cancer development. As a result, some people will never know they have HPV, while others will develop signs or symptoms in their genitals, anus, or mouth. Treatment options for those who don’t get better include surgery, chemotherapy, or topical creams.

How human papillomavirus (HPV) is spread?

A person with HPV can spread the virus by touching an infected area, such as their genitals or anal area. Sometimes the infection does not cause symptoms, so the person may be unaware of having HPV. The way to avoid contracting HPV is to limit your number of sexual partners, use condoms and limit your number of sex acts per partner. Other ways to prevent HPV are to abstain from sex or have only monogamous relationships. This will reduce your risk of acquiring other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). To detect an infection, always ensure you get regularly tested for STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhea, which are often associated with HPVs. A recent study found that one-third of women ages 15-24 had at least one STI.

What are the symptoms?

A majority of HPV has no symptoms at all. When it does, they usually appear two to three months after the infection and may include: a tingling or itching sensation, genital discharge, and burning with urination. No medication can cure HPV; condoms effectively prevent new infections; routine cervical cancer screening may also help prevent health complications.

HPV in men

HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection. There are many misconceptions about HPV. This blog post will clarify what HPV is and dispel any incorrect information you may have heard:

  1. Over 100 types of HPV; however, a person can only contract one type simultaneously.
  2. We want to debunk the misconception that if a man has HPV, he must have been unfaithful.
  3. Someone can contract HPV without having sex with another person!

The people who can get infected with HPV are through skin-to-skin contact or oral sex with another person with an active virus type.

HPV in women

HPV is a sexually transmitted infection. The virus can be found on the skin and moist mucous membranes, including those inside the vagina, anus, mouth, and throat. It’s possible to get HPV even if you don’t have any symptoms, and it does not cause cancer, meaning some people never know it. However, according to Planned Parenthood, about 14 million Americans are currently infected with HPV, and more than 33,700 women are diagnosed yearly with HPV-related cancer in the United States alone. In addition, people having weak immune systems due to AIDS or diabetes are also at increased risk of contracting the virus or developing related cancers.

Can you prevent HPV?

HPV can be passed from one person to another during intimate contact, often without symptoms or outward signs of the virus. However, when HPV does cause symptoms, it will almost always happen within six months of sexual activity with someone infected. The three most common symptoms include:

  • Warts on the vagina or penis (known as condyloma).
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods for several months (known as breakthrough bleeding).
  • An increased risk of some cancers.

These are all treatable but not curable conditions, so prevention is important.


The only way to protect yourself is by receiving the HPV vaccine. If you don’t know your HPV status, it’s recommended that you go and get tested. Chances are, the virus will go away with no treatment needed. Other forms of protection can help prevent contracting the virus, like staying away from oral sex, not having sex with someone with a partner diagnosed with HPV, and getting screened for it.

How do you treat it?

HPV is most likely to infect people when their skin comes into contact with an infected person’s genital fluids during intimate activity. Still, it can also be spread through kissing or skin-to-skin contact with the mouth, nose, or eyes. 

Many different types of HPV exist, including some that are sexually transmitted and some that are not. An infection having one type of HPV does not affect your risk for other types of HPV.

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