Human Papillomavirus- (HPV)

What is HPV?

HPV is a large group of over 150 related viruses which are numbered by type. It is spread by skin to skin contact. Some types of the virus may lead to warts while others may lead to cancer of the penis, anus, vagina, cervix, vulva or throat.

Symptoms:

  • Usually no symptoms
  • Warts may appear on the external genitals, anus, cervix or throat

Treatment:

Sometimes the virus clears itself from the body without treatment. External warts may be treated by a provider in the office in a variety of ways. Other internal symptoms such as those involving the cervix may be referred out to a specialist for treatment. Currently, the only approved testing for HPV screening is for females and performed during a gynecological pap smear. There is no HPV screening test approved for asymptomatic males at this time.

Prevention: 

  • Abstinence from ALL sexual activity (Oral, vaginal, anal) is the only 100% way to prevent an STD. STD’s are spread by contact of skin, blood or body fluids. This includes kissing.
  • Condom usage during all sexual encounters for the entire duration of genital contact will reduce the spread of a STD. Condoms are available for men and women as well as dental dams for oral sex.
  • Refrain from using drugs and/or alcohol in sexual situations.
  • Gardasil vaccine is approved for males and females to prevent certain types of the HPV virus. Available in our Immunization Department. Even if you have a known type of HPV, it is still recommended that you get the vaccine to prevent other types of the HPV virus that you may not have already contracted. See link for more detailed information on the vaccine https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/vaccines/hpv-vaccine.html

 

References: