HPV - Human Papilloma Virus

What is HPV (Human Papilloma Virus)?

HPV is one of the most commonly transmitted Sexual Disease. This is a different virus than HIV and HSV (Herpes).

There are different types of HP Virus.  Some cause Cancer and Genital Warts.  Fortunately, there are vaccines that can prevent Cancer and Genital Warts caused by HPVirus.

How does HPV Spread?

HPV spreads through Oral, Vaginal and/or Anal Sex. Having sex with an infected person transmits the virus to the healthy person.  In many cases, infected person may not show any signs or symptoms of any disease since this virus can remain dormant (yet spread) in victim’s body.

What are the symptoms or health problems caused by HPV?

In many cases, HPV doesn’t cause any symptoms and goes away on it’s own.  If it doesn’t, that may lead to Cancer and Genital Warts.  These genital warts can occur in different shapes which can be identified by your STD specialist.

What cancer does HPV cause?

HPV can cause Cervical and other cancers (Vulva, Anus, Penis, Vagina) if the infection doesn’t go away on it’s own.  It can also cause cancer in the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils.

Cancer, if caused, can take years to develop after the person is infected with HPV.

Note: HPV that causes genital warts is different from that causing Cancer.

Can HPV be avoided, if yes, how?

Yes, infection from HPV can be prevented.

  1. Get Vaccinated. This can prevent cancer and genital warts.  Appropriate age to get vaccinated is 11-26 years.
  2. Use Condoms when having sex.
  3. Stay Monogamous.

Dr. Karthik Gunasekaran on HPV