Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

What is HPV (Human Papillomavirus)?

Pronounced: human pap-uh-loh-muh-vahy-ruh-s

Human papillomavirus is a group of viruses that cause warts (condylomata acuminata) to form on the feet, hands, and genitals – depending on the type of HPV infection contracted.

The virus may enter the body through a small cut or abrasion on the skin after skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. Genital HPV infections, some of which result in genital warts, are contracted through sexual contact / intercourse.

There are more than known 100 types of HPV Strains of the virus. Certain strains, namely HPV 16 and 18, can lead to the development of certain types of cancer including penile, cervical, anal and oropharangeal cancers (i.e. cancers of the mid throat including the soft palate, tongue and tonsils). HPV can also lead to the development of genital warts, however most infections do not result in either cancer or these. Sixty types of the virus cause warts on the hands and feet and do not form warts on the genitals, the other 40 types of HPV are what cause genital warts.

HPV is a reality for many people, in the information in the navigation menu above, we will delve into the details of the disease and explore the symptoms, causes and more regarding the virus. Please note that this article is intended to be used only as a guideline and not as a professional opinion. It is always best to consult with a doctor or healthcare professional for that.

What is the difference between general HPV and the sexual strains of HPV?

It is important to note that general HPV infections are different to the sexual strains of the virus. The general infections can be spread through coming into contact with the warts of someone who has warts on their hands, feet, joints and even their face. Whilst the sexual strains of the virus, being the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD), are transmitted through sexual intercourse, anal or oral sex (oral sex causing warts in the throat and mouth). The infection site of the virus is often used to determine the strain of it. Warts on the hands, for instance, cannot spread to the genitals, throat or mouth, and vice versa, this is because they are caused by different types of HPV.

NEXT HPV and common warts

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