What is HPV?

HPV or genital human papillomavirus or genital warts is the most common sexually transmitted infection of our time. There are many different strains and more than 40 that infect genital areas.

What are the symptoms of HPV?

Contrary to popular belief, you cannot see HPV. HPV is commonly split into two different types of risk groups; low risk and high risk. Most people who become infected with HPV do not even aware they have it. HPV causes normal, healthy cells to turn abnormal. In a lot of cases your body's immune system will naturally fight off the genital human papillomavirus and infected cells turn back to healthy. However this is not always the case. When a high risk strain of HPV is not cleared up by the body's immune system, it can lead to cancer in some woman and mean. A majority of strains go unnoticed because they do not develop symptoms.

  1. Low Risk HPV (Wart-Causing)The genital human papillomavirus that does have visible symptoms is considered to be more low risk. These types can cause genital warts. Genital warts come in many shapes and sizes, they can appear as a small bump or a group of bumps.

  2. High Risk HPV (Cancer-Causing)
    Unfortunately it is these strains are considered more high risk and can lead to various types of cancer. Although the stains that are highest risk are also considered less common, it is important for women to get screened regularly for cervical cancer.

How can you prevent HPV infection of yourself or someone else?
The only real way to prevent the spread of HPV is abstinence. For the rest of us who are sexually active, condoms can help lower the risk of HPV. However condoms are not always fully effective as HPV can infect other areas that are not covered by a condom. There is now a vaccine series out that can help protect females from some types of HPV. It is recommended for girls at ages 11-12 years of age. It is also recommended for girls and women between the ages of 13 and 26 who have not been vaccinated.

Is there a cure or treatment for HPV?
There is no treatment for the virus itself, but a healthy immune system can usually fight off HPV naturally. There are treatments for the diseases that HPV can cause.