Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Human Papillomavirus (HPV): Understanding the Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Options
What is Human Papillomavirus?

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is typically a sexually transmitted virus that affects numerous parts of the body. This tiny virus is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact during sexual indulgences, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Once inside the body, HPV can infect cells in the genital area, leading to a gamut of health issues. Here is a comprehensive guide to Human Papillomavirus (HPV), its causes, symptoms, prevention strategies and treatment options.

Symptoms of Human Papillomavirus

• When the human papillomavirus (HPV) infects the pores and skin, it could purpose warts to form. However, in many instances, the body's immune system can combat the virus earlier than any warts appear.
• Genital warts can appear as small, flat lesions or cauliflower-like bumps or protrusions. In girls, they may be regularly observed at the vulva, near the anus, on the cervix, or in the vagina. In men, genital warts can seem at the penis and scrotum, as well as around the anus.
• Common warts might raise rough bumps that typically appear on the arms and palms. Those warts may be painful or at risk of damage or bleeding.
• Plantar warts are hard, grainy growths that usually appear at the heels or balls of the foot and may cause discomfort.
• Flat warts are flat-crowned, slightly raised lesions that can seem everywhere at the frame but are maximum common on the face, legs, or beard area.

Types of Human Papillomavirus

There are over a hundred unique types of human papillomavirus (HPV). However, they may be labelled into two major categories based on their capability fitness risks:
Low-hazard HPV: Those varieties of HPV commonly do not cause serious problems and are not going to cause cancer. But, they can cause benign warts, such as genital warts, which can be uncomfortable or unpleasant.
High-hazard HPV: These forms of HPV are more likely to cause most cancers, which include cervical cancers, in addition to other varieties of cancer, such as anal, penile, vaginal, and oropharyngeal cancer.

Types of Cancer Caused by Human Papillomavirus

• Cervical Cancer HPV is responsible for nearly all cases of cervical cancer, which is the most common HPV-associated disease. Many HPV infections clear up on their own, and pre-cancerous lesions may go away without treatment; there are still few chances that the contamination can become chronic, and the lesions can progress to invasive cervical cancer.
• Oropharyngeal Cancer HPV is responsible for most oropharyngeal cancers, usually in the throat's tonsils or back of the tongue. The prevalence of those cancers is rising each year, making them the maximum common sort of HPV-related cancers.
• Anal Cancer: HPV is responsible for more than 90% of anal cancers, which might increase with each passing year.
• Other common cancers are caused by HV, such as vaginal cancer, vulvar cancer, penile cancer, etc.

Causes of Human Papillomavirus

HPV enters the body through skin cuts, abrasions, or tears and spreads especially via skin-to-skin contact. Sexual activity, including oral and anal intercourse, is a common manner to contract genital HPV infections. However, pregnant women with genital warts can probably bypass the virus to their toddler, which could result in noncancerous growth within the child's larynx.

HPV in Women

HPV is a significant problem for women and AFAB individuals as it may lead to cervical cancer if left untreated. Therefore, regular Pap smears and HPV tests are important in detecting and stopping precancerous cells from progressing into cervical cancer. Moreover, some types of HPV can cause genital warts in AFAB individuals.
• Pap tests are important for detecting abnormal cervical cells in women, which can indicate the presence of cervical cancer or other HPV-associated issues.
• Women aged 21-29 need to have a Pap test every three years.
• Women elderly 30-65 have numerous options, including a Pap test every three years, an HPV test every five years, or both tests together every five years (co-testing).

HPV in Men

Men contracting HPV may not show signs and symptoms, but a few may develop genital warts. In addition, certain strains of HPV can cause penile, anal, and throat cancers in men, particularly those who have interacted with anal sex or have a weakened immune system. Protect yourself by practising safer sex and getting vaccinated against HPV.

Pap Test- Men at a higher hazard for developing anal cancer, consisting of those who engage in anal intercourse or have HIV, may be recommended to undergo an anal Pap test by their doctors.

Risk Factors Several factors can increase the risk of getting infected with HPV, such as:
• Having broken or damaged pores and skin in the genital location.
• No longer the use of barrier protection all through sexual activity.
• Coming into contact with warts or surfaces wherein HPV exposure has taken place.
• Not receiving the HPV vaccination.
• Having sexual contact with someone who has had multiple sexual companions.

Treatment of Human Papillomavirus

Although warts can leave on their own, there is no cure for the virus that causes them. As a result, warts can come back within the identical spot or appear in new locations.


Several medications are available to treat warts, which can be commonly applied directly to an affected area. • Salicylic acid is a common treatment that progressively removes warts.
• Prescription lotions like imiquimod and podofilox can also be effective but may also cause side effects such as redness and burning.

Other Medical Surgeries

If traditional medication fails to eliminate your warts efficiently, your doctor may recommend alternative techniques. Such methods are:
• Laser surgery
• Cryotherapy
• Electrocautery
• Surgical Removal

Preventions of Human Papillomavirus

A person can reduce their risk by
• Getting the HPV vaccine
• Limiting the number of sexual partners
• Utilising contraceptive methods such as condoms or dental dams during sexual intercourse.


HPV infections are prevalent and often resolved by the body's immune system. However, these infections can persist in certain instances and cause health troubles. To minimise the danger of such health problems, it is recommended to receive the HPV vaccine and undergo regular cervical screening.


Q 1. What is HPV?
A 1. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a widespread virus that can affect various areas of your body. It encompasses more than 100 kinds of HPV, some of which could result in warts on your face, hands, feet, and body parts.

Q 2. What are the symptoms of HPV?
A 2. Most individuals with HPV infections do not experience any signs and symptoms, and the virus typically goes away on its own. But, some people might develop symptoms depending on the type of HPV infection.
• Genital warts
• Cervical Cancer
• Other cancers such as anus cancer, vulva cancer, vagina cancer, penis cancer, etc.

Q 3. Can HPV be cured?
A 3. There is currently no cure for HPV, but the body's immune system can effectively clear the virus in most cases. Most HPV infections resolve naturally within two years without requiring any medical intervention.

Q 4. Is there a vaccine for HPV?
A 4. Yes, some vaccines work best when administered before exposure to the virus, as they are ineffective in treating an existing HPV infection. There are four types of HPV vaccines available, including the mono-, bi-, quad-, and nonavalent vaccines.

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