Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

March 12, 2009 by admin 

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that sometimes causes Genital Warts but in many cases infects people without causing noticeable symptoms. Concern about HPV has increased in recent years after studies showed that some types of HPV infection cause cervical cancer. HPV is likely the most common STD among young, sexually active people and is of increasing public health importance. At any one time, an estimated 20 million people in the United States have genital HPV infections that can be transmitted to others. Every year, about 5.5 million people acquire a genital HPV infection.

While there is no way to know for sure if HPV is increasing, there are no signs of a significant decline. With improved testing technology, researchers have been able to get a much clearer picture of the true extent of HPV in certain groups in recent years, and the infection is even more common than originally believed.

There are 30 distinct types of HPV that can infect the genital area. Of these, some types cause Genital Warts, and others cause subclinical infections, noted as such because they are invisible or cannot be seen. Genital Warts are extremely common, but can be treated and cured. Subclinical HPV infection is much more common than genital warts, and there is currently no treatment. The disease can lead to cervical, penile and anal cancer.

Most HPV infections appear to be temporary and are probably cleared up by the body’s immune system. One study in college students showed that in 91 percent of women with new HPV infections, HPV became undetectable within two years (Ho, 1998). However, reactivation or reinfection is possible.

Persistent cervical infection with certain types of HPV is the single most important risk factor for cervical cancer. HPV type 16 accounts for more than 50 percent of cervical cancers and high-grade dysplasia-abnormal cell growth. HPV type 16, along with types 18, 31, and 45 account for 80 percent of cervical cancers (Bosch, 1995; Shah, 1997).


One Response to “Human Papillomavirus (HPV)”

  1. teacher3rs on March 12th, 2009 10:32 pm

    My children have had all of their childhood vaccinations with little or no problem, maybe a temperature or a few aches for a couple of days. This was NOT the case with GARDASIL>>>>>Following the Gardasil injections, my daughter developed a gradual onset of symptoms, including debilitating joint pain, arthritis, fatigue, severe headaches with vomiting and light sensitivity, and dizziness, that carried on for more than 12 months. Only following treatment with high doses of prednisone, have some of the symptoms settled down enough that she can attend class. The symptoms, however, have not gone away. The specialist does NOT know the cause and her many tests are normal.

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