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What is HPV Infection – Diagnosis, Preventions, Treatment & HPV Vaccine – 2022

What is HPV – Apart from COVID-19, there are so many viruses in the world which can spread through various things. Some of these viruses spread through sexual activities, and that is why those viruses are called sexually transmitted infections.

HPV or Human Papillomavirus is one of those Sexually transmitted viruses. It is a group of more than 200 viruses related to each other, and some of those viruses spread through sexual activities.

The Centers for Disease Control and prevention categorizes HPV Into two main groups. The groups are known according to their risk levels, low risk, and high risk. You should understand everything about these viruses to ensure your safety.

Types of HPV

As you are already aware, the Centers for Disease Control and prevention categorize HPV into two different groups. Both of the groups are made on the levels of risk. 

  • The lower-risk HPV usually does not cause any diseases. But, it is capable of causing warts On/or around the genitals, mouth, or throat.
  • On the other hand, a high-risk HPV group can cause several types of cancers. There are 14 types of viruses that are known to be in the high-risk category, and they can lead you to several types of cancers.

Diagnosis of HPV

Before we talk about anything else, let’s first discuss the diagnosis of the HPV virus. As part of the health experts, there is no blood test for the HPV virus, but some tests can help you and your health care provider in the diagnosis.

One of the most famous tests for the HPV virus is the pap test. During the test, your doctor might remove a sample of cells from the cervix. Later, your health care provider or doctor is going to examine these removed cells under a microscope to look for any changes in the cell.

The second most famous test for the HPV virus is colonoscopy. Your doctor will use an instrument called colonoscopy that shines a light and enlarges the view of the cervix. Your doctor will try to find as many abnormal cells in the cervix as possible using the colonoscopy tube.

There is a probability that the HPV virus can also cause cervical cancer. That is why your doctor might suggest you go for an HPV DNA test. The DNA test of HPV within a sample of cells will help your doctors to detect the type of HPV connected to cervical cancer.

What is HPV
What is HPV

Treatment of HPV

As you are already aware, there are two different types of HPV viruses. The low-risk HPV virus does not cause any disease, and It may go away on its own without any treatment.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has mentioned that around 70 to 90% of cases of HPV Infection are cleared from the body by the immune system itself. You might not even require any additional medication. 

Unfortunately, there is no treatment for HPV. If anyone requires treatment for the virus, then the doctors might use different medications to relieve the symptoms. 

Your doctor might use some treatment to remove any visible warts and Abnormal cells in the cervix. Your doctor might use different treatments to remove those warts and abnormal cells.

  • Cryosurgery is a famous treatment to freeze words with liquid nitrogen.
  • Your doctor might also use a loop electrosurgical excision procedure which is a special wire loop to remove the abnormal cells.

Prevention from HPV infections

It is always going to be a wise decision to protect yourself from any disease rather than getting the treatment. Similar things also happen with HPV infections.

Most health experts will suggest you ensure your safety by using several techniques against the HPV virus. 

  • First of all, you should use condoms correctly every time you have sex so that you can prevent HPV.
  • As you might already be aware, condoms are not 100% effective in protecting against every type of HPV virus. That is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest everyone use vaccines for HPV.
  • In case you are already experiencing genital warts, then you should not have sex until the warts are removed. 
  • Not having sex during genital warts can reduce the risk of HPV. At the same time, women should have regular pap tests to look for any abnormal changes in the cervix, as these are the first symptoms of pre-cancer.

Vaccine for HPV

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend everyone get vaccinated to ensure their safety against HPV. 

There are three approved vaccines available for HPV. Two of these three vaccines are approved to protect against the development of cervical cancer and genital warts. There are separate vaccines for girls and women between the ages of nine to six and boys and men Between the ages of 9 to 26. 

Apart from that, there is a third vaccine that is approved for women only to protect against cervical cancer, but this version is not going to protect anyone from developing any genital warts.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest everyone get vaccinated before the start of sexual activities. HPV vaccine consists of three shots. The second shot will come after two months of getting the first shot, and the third short will come after six months of getting the first shot. 

The time frame among these shots is going to be completely different, so you should create an early appointment. Kindly remember that the HPV vaccine is not going to treat or cure HPV infections, but the vaccine is going to protect you from getting it.

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How common is HPV infection?

As per the central for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV infections are very common in the United States. The data points suggest that the United States records more than 3,000,000 cases of HPV each year. There are a total of 79 million-plus Americans affected with HPV. Apart from that, the CDC also clearly mentioned that around 80% of sexually active people are going to get infected with the virus at some point in theirs.

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