Human Papillomavirus infection is an infection caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).
It is not new but many may have never come across HPV which is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the world
While HIV is contacted through blood contact with infected persons, HPV infection occurs when there is a fluid exchange during kissing/sexual intercourse, through a cut, abrasion or small tear in the skin. It is transferred primarily by skin-to-skin contact.
Sexually active persons are most at risk of contacting this incurable infection. Also it affects highly immunodeficient persons.
The rate of human papillomavirus infection is currently high.
CDC report says that about 14 million people get infected on annual bases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), is a US agency charged with tracking and investigating public health trends. Their recent report says that 455 of men and 40% of women within the age range of 18-59 years had the infection from 2013- 2014.
According to the agency, about 80 million people in America have different types of human papillomavirus infection. There are over 100 HPV types. Out of that number, about 40 are transmitted sexually.
The prevalence in the United States is being beat down with the use of vaccines for children. However the use of these vaccines has been found to be controversial. Thus the best bet is to lead a healthy and hygienic life and of course be wary of one’s sex life.
While the infection may come with no symptoms, there may be eruption of warts in body parts that came in contact with infected persons.
After few weeks of the body contact, warts appear on affected parts which includes the genitals and tongue/mouth(oral cavity). Common warts occur mostly in children. Genital warts often break out in adolescents and young adults.
Warts often go away without treatment, particularly in children. However, there’s no cure for the virus, so they can reappear in the same place or other places.
HPV transmission also causes abnormal cell changes in the cervix and other genital areas which can lead to cancer. Some of the lesions increase the risk of cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, anus, mouth, or throat.
Conditions that propagate human papillomavirus infection include:
- Having multiple sexual partners
- Sexual intercourse with an infected person
- A weak immune system is a good place for the virus to thrive. (A range of medical conditions and drugs can affect the immune system)
- Damaged skin make people prone to HPV infection.
- Body contact with an infected person can leave you infected. Using public showers and swimming pools with infected persons can also be a risk factor.
- Unhygienic environments
While there is no symptom or cure for HPV, the infection often clears on its own.
Medical records say 90% of HPV infections, including those linked to cancer, go away on their own within a couple of years.
In an occasion where it doesn’t, treatment follows. Generally speaking it is wise to seek medical assistance when warts appear in several parts of the body, lest it leads to cancer.
U.S reports says there are about 30,700 contact HPV-related cancers annually. This means that only a tiny fraction of the infection lead to cancer.