Saturday, May 15, 2010

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

What causes HPV?

HPV is passed on through genital contact, most often during vaginal and anal sex. It may also be passed on during oral sex and genital-to-genital contact. HPV can also be passed on between heterosexual and homosexual partners.

How the transmission occur?

It is through saliva, air, cough, fecal-oral route, surfaces, blood, needles, blood transfusions, sexual contact, mother to fetus, etc. It is almost the same way HIV is transmitted.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Genital warts usually appear as a small bump or groups of bumps in the genital area. They can be small or large, raised or flat, or shaped like a cauliflower. Health care providers can diagnose warts by looking at the genital area during an office visit. Warts can appear within weeks or months after sexual contact with an infected partner—even if the infected partner has no signs of genital warts. If left untreated, genital warts might go away, remain unchanged, or increase in size or number. They will not turn into cancer.

Cervical cancer usually does not have symptoms until it is quite advanced. For this reason, it is important for women to get regular screening for cervical cancer. Screening tests can find early signs of disease so that problems can be treated early, before they ever turn into cancer.

Other HPV-related cancers might not have signs or symptoms until they are advanced and hard to treat. These include cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and head and neck.

What is the treatment?

There is currently no cure or treatment for HPV infection. However, the viral infection, more often than not, clears by itself. Experts do not agree on whether the virus is completely eliminated or reduced to undetectable levels, and it is difficult to know if one is contagious.

How can this infection be prevented?

There are several ways that people can lower their chances of getting HPV:


Two vaccines (Cervarix and Gardasil) are available to protect females against the types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers. These vaccines can also be given to girls as young as 9 years of age. It is recommended that females get the same vaccine brand for all three doses, whenever possible.


One available vaccine (Gardasil) protects males against most genital warts. This vaccine is available for boys and men, 9 through 26 years of age.


For those who choose to be sexually active, condoms may lower the risk of HPV. To be most effective, they should be used with every sex act, from start to finish. But HPV can infect areas that are not covered by a condom - so condoms

may not fully protect against HPV.

People can also lower their chances of getting HPV by being in a faithful relationship with one partner; limiting their number of sex partners; and choosing a partner who has had no or few prior sex partners.

The only sure way to prevent HPV is to avoid all sexual activity

Done by: Aaron, Daniel, Eunice and Kang Yan


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