HPV or human papillomavirus is a very common virus responsible for causing sexually transmitted diseases. This is a virus group of hundreds of different viruses. Some of these viruses cause skin infection or warts. Some others can be causes of skin cancer. At least 71 percent of the population of reproductive age may face an STD infection due to HPV. The HPV is most commonly responsible for infection of the reproductive tract. At least 13 of the more than 100 types of HPV (human papillomavirus) are identified as cancer causing. Human papillomavirus is the leading cause of STD, which is most likely to be transmitted through sexual contact.
As symptoms of HPV infections remain latent in many cases, patients remain unaware that they carry an infection of the human papillomavirus. Disturbingly, HPV is transmitted even when the infected person shows no apparent symptoms. Cervical cancer is among the diseases commonly associated with an HPV infection. Some types of human papillomavirus also cause genital warts. Sexually transmitted HPV can be of two types. It can be low risk or high risk. The use of condoms can decrease the risk of transmission of the HPV infection and STDs but it cannot completely prevent this virus from spreading.
Most Common Symptoms
In many instances of infection caused by the human papillomavirus, there are no symptoms. Any minor symptoms usually disappear within one to two years and do not cause cancer. However, an infection caused by the HPV Types 16 and 18 may lead to symptoms of precancerous lesions. Left untreated, these symptoms of HPV infection may lead to cervical cancer. As the cancer stage advances, symptoms of cervical cancer may be the first indication of the past HPV infection.
There are no FDA-approved tests for detecting human papillomavirus infection in men. In a research study, it was found that 10.1 percent of men showed evidence of oral infection by human papillomavirus when this percentage was 3.6 in the case of women. Therefore, the rates of oral infection by human papillomavirus are three times higher in men than in women. Symptoms of infection may be severe at an advanced stage of cancer. Some common associated symptoms are listed as follows:
- Fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss
- Swelling of legs
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse
- Pain in the back or legs
- Vaginal discomfort or odorous discharge
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