Synonyms: human papilloma virus
HPV is a virus that affects the skin and mucous membranes and can cause warts or cancer precursor lesions, such as cervical uterine cancer, throat or anus. HPV name is an English acronym for “Human Papilloma Virus” and each type of HPV can cause warts in different parts of the body.
HPV is a virus that is transmitted in the skin contact, so it can be considered a sexually transmitted disease. In the first sexual contact 1 in 10 girls come into contact with the virus. As time goes on, between 80 and 90% of the population has come into contact with the virus at some time in life, even if it has not developed injury. But it is important to remember that over 90% of people can eliminate the virus from the body naturally, without clinical manifestations.
Among these types, only 14 can cause cancer precursor lesions, such as cervical uterine cancer, throat or anus. 70% of these lesions are caused by HPV types 16 and 18, while HPV 31, 33, 45 and other less common types are found in all other cases.
Already the HPV type 6 and 11 are also quite common in women, but cause only genital warts.
The type of HPV is detected through the two types of tests: genetic testing and hybrid capture PCR test. These tests may provide information such as the type, viral load or to check whether or not this HPV oncogenic, i.e., it can progress to cancer.
Any people who have an active sex life are at risk of contact with any of the HPV types. However some risk factors increase the chance that contact occur:
- Unprotected sex
- Early sex life
- Multiple partners
- No routine screening
- Immunosuppression, i.e., the fall of the immune system
- Presence of other sexually transmitted diseases
Moreover, risk factors for cancer associated HPV are changes in the immune response of our organism, such as:
- Multiple pregnancies
- Use of high-dose oral contraceptives for a long time
- HIV infection
- hemotherapy, radiotherapy or immunosuppressant
- Sintomas de HPV
Over 90% of people can eliminate the HPV virus from the body naturally, without clinical manifestations.
The main symptom of HPV, when expressed, is the appearance of skin lesions or warts, usually a white or brownish smudge it itches. Often, however, the damage may not be visible to the naked eye, appearing as colposcopy examinations, and vulvoscopia peniscopy.
Usually the lesions appear in the genital region, but can occur in other parts of the body. See the most common:
In the male genitals, the penis is the most common place for appearance of HPV
In both genders, the anus, throat, mouth, hands and feet are places where the HPV virus usually manifests
Seeking medical help
Remember that, in most cases, HPV is located in routine screening of women, because the problem may not show any symptoms.