Human papillomavirus (HPV) is asexually transmitted disease (STD) that causes genital warts and in some cases cancer.
In the US 20 million people between the ages of 15 to 49 are infected with HPV, researchers think the number is much higher, due to the HPV cases that have not been reported.
Researchers also state that almost half of those infected with HPV are unaware of the infection, because of the lack of signs or symptoms of the disease. Most often the site of the infection is deep within the urethra, vagina or rectum and is self contained.
When you are sexually active it is wise for men to be tested once a year for sexually transmitted diseases and women should have a yearly (Pap test).
If there are multiple sexual partners in your life, you need to keep in mind that you are exposing yourself to every partner, which they have been sexually active with for past 5 years as well.
To date there are over 100 types of HPV, more than 70 of which are sexually transmitted. The most commonly involved strains of human papillomavirus HPV are 6 and 11. Types most commonly associated with cervical and rectal cancer are 16, 18, 31, 33, and 35. It may take as long as 5 years for HPV to become cancerous.
Listed below you will find areas where HPV will communally develop:
- The penis
- Inside urethra and penis
- Inside vagina
- Lips of vulva
- On and around anus
- Inside rectum
- On scrotum
- In mouth, throat and tongue
Never try over the counter treatments you could cause irreversible damage. When in doubt call your health care provider for a consultation. As yet a cure for HPV has not been found, but there are effective treatments available. In some milder cases of HPV topical treatments are used with success, other treatments may need a local anesthetic such as:
- Surgical removal
- Laser removal
- Cryotherapy ( liquid nitrogen freezing)
- Electrocautery (burning)