HPV is more common than you think.
Today, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are fairly common. However, not everyone is well adept with these infections, how they are transmitted and if they’re curable.
The most common STD across the globe is the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection. HPV affects about 79 million people in the United States alone.
It is the known culprit in the development of one of the deadliest cancers in women, cervical cancer. Learning more about this illness will help many women and even men, to prevent the infection and protect themselves against the disease causing-pathogen.
As mentioned earlier, 79 million people in the United States are living with HPV infection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the HPV cases causes cervical cancer and this type of cancer is the second most common cancer in women across the globe. In 2008 alone, there were 529,000 new cases of cervical cancer and 274,000 deaths.
Since it’s a sexually transmitted disease or STD, the primary mode of transmission is through sexual intercourse. The HPV infection shows in the form of a genital wart. This can be found anywhere in the genital area including the upper thigh and the butt.
However, the virus can be transmitted through intimate skin to skin contact. Though the use of a condom is recommended to reduce the risk of transmission, the area not covered with the condom could contain the virus. It can also cause HPV infection in the mouth, which could be contracted through kissing.
HPV infection may not have any symptom in women. However, this type of STD is seldom tested. They usually wait until the person shows signs of an infection. Also, they would only do testing if the Pap smear comes back abnormal. Pap smear is important to detect the illness early.
The group of HPV has more than 100 various viruses. There are just two strains that are linked to cervical cancer – types 16 and 18. This means that seldom the other strains are harmful.
The types of HPV strains that cause genital warts and cervical cancer can be managed but there is no cure for the infection. HPV vaccines are important to prevent the spread of the illness.
The tests for women and men are different. Currently, however, there is still no real recommended HPV test for men. For women, on the other hand, they need to visit the doctor for HPV testing and Pap smear.
Simple skin to skin contact like kissing can lead to the transfer of the virus.
HPV infection is a life-long battle. It may lead to cervical cancer. Still, prevention is better than cure. Have yourselves vaccinated against the infection.
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