When you realize there is something wrong and find out you got HPV. The first thought crossing your mind may sound like: Is there a cure!? There are some good and bad news we are going to explain in this post.
How is it spread?
First of all, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the United States and the world, around 20 million people in the U.S. are affected, some studies say around 50% of sexually active people could contract the disease at some point of their lives.
Even if a condom is used during sexual intercourse infection may pass through skin contact with someone holding the virus. Genital warts, the most obvious sign of HPV infection, are highly contagious, about two thirds of people who have sexual contact with a partner with warts will develop them, usually within three months of contact.
Is this dangerous?
Human Papillomavirus is the name for a group of viruses that includes more than 100 types.
There are four types of the virus one should know about.
HPV type 6 and 11 cause about 90% of genital wart cases in men and women.
HPV types 16 and 18 cause about 75% cervical cancers, 70% vaginal cancers, and up to 50% vulva cancers in women.
Good news are there is a low probability you would develop cancer, but you should visit your doctor because it can take up to 15 years to develop, and the sooner you know it, the better.
Genital warts on the other hand are painless and can be removed with different treatments, preventing spread and contagion, they are not a threat in most cases besides the bad looks. Having warts may be hard to cope with, but they are not a threat to your health. People with warts can still lead normal, healthy lives.
Currently there is no actual cure for HPV, treatments focus mainly in symptoms relief such as warts and the precancerous changes sometimes associated with the high-risk types of HPV.
The warts associated with HPV infection can be flat or raised, small or large. Colors may vary, including but not limited to pink or flesh-colored.
Treating warts aggressively immediately after they appear is discouraged. They could still be emerging and repeat treatment would be needed later.
Treatment for warts can be a painful process which can involve cutting, freezing, laser, or burning the warts with Trichloroacetic acid (TCA), natural methods are available, such as Wartrol, and can remove warts in just a few weeks and without pain.
Some stuff you should know
- HPV does not cause herpes.
- HPV is as common in men as in women.
- Most people with HPV have no visible signs or symptoms.
- It is now widely accepted that HPV causes 95% of cervical cancers.
- While vaccines have proven to be effective, they only work before an individual is exposed to the virus. After exposure, vaccines have no therapeutic effect.
- Starting at age twenty-one, women should have a Pap test every two years. Women age thirty and older who have had three normal Pap test in a row should have the test performed every three years.
- A Pap test can find changes on the cervix caused by HPV.
- Gay men are seventeen times more likely to develop anal cancer than heterosexual men.
- An average of twenty-eight to forty-six percent of women under the age of twenty-five are infected with genital HPV.
Final thoughts: Although there is not an available cure at the time, rapid detection and treatment can get your life as normal as always.