The human papillomavirus or in simpler terms HPV is a virus that has been found to affect very many people. Research has shown that there are over 120 different types of the HPV virus and they are referred to using a number. Out of the 120 there are 40 that are believed to be transmitted through sexual activity. HPV is a very common virus among humans and due to this statistics show that over 50% of people that have an active sex life will carry the virus at some point in their lives. However, most of these people will not even be aware that they are carrying the virus. This is because in most cases the human papillomavirus will not show any obvious symptoms and it will eventually go away on its accord.
How is HPV Transmitted?
The main method through which HPV is passed is by skin to skin contact. It means that it is not necessary that you engage in sexual intercourse in order to acquire the virus. This makes it very hard for someone to guard themselves from the virus.
Even by wearing a condom it does not protect you from contracting the virus. There are parts of the genital area that are left unprotected during sex through which the HPV virus can gain access to your body. When someone is infected they usually do not show any signs and if there are any they can take weeks and even months before showing.
In What Ways Can The Virus be Passed on?
There are several ways through which HPV can be passed on and they include.
- Vaginal intercourse
- Anal intercourse
- Oral sex
Virus Types That Can Result in Cancer
Although there are like a dozen types of the virus that can cause genital cancer, the following are some of the types that are most dangerous. They include:
- Type 16
- Type 18
- Type 31
- Type 45
In most women the HPV infected cells are shed off in the cervix. If this does not happen it has been found that the risk of getting cervical cancer increases significantly.
Fortunately it takes even years for a woman who has been infected with the virus to go on to develop cervical cancer. This is very helpful because it allows for the early detection of cancerous cells thorough a routinely PAP smear test.
Types of HPV That Can Lead to Warts
Research shows that there are over 13 different types of HPV that can lead to the development of warts. They include:
- Common warts associated with HPV 2 and 3.
- Plantar warts associated with HPV 1, 2, 3, 4 and 63.
- Flat warts associated with HPV 3, 8 and 10.
- Anogenital warts associated with HPV 6, 11, 42 and 44.
Some Treatments and Cures
It is necessary that you understand that there is at present no cure for HPV. However there is good news for those that may be infected; the HPV virus will most likely go away on its own after some time. Also there have been a lot of breakthroughs in helpful vaccines and it is believed that soon infections are bound to reduce significantly.
Remember that prevention is always the best cure and that the best way to avoid contracting the virus is to reduce the number of sexual partners you have. For more information on this topic, visit our “warts” category.