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Human Papilloma Virus

Human Papilloma Virus

Percentage of people with HPV

HPV infections are the most common sexually transmitted infections. Up to 8 out of 10 of people are infected with one or more HPV types at some point in their lives. Recent research indicates that, at any point in time, 42.5% of sexually active women have genital HPV infections.

Click on our Factsheet to see more facts on HPV.

Human Papilloma Virus Infection.

Most HPV infections are asymptomatic; therefore, most infected persons are unaware they are infected, yet they can transmit the virus to their sexual partner. The incubation period for the infection can be long and variable. There is currently no cure for HPV, although most infections clear on their own. The virus can be latent, which means it can be present in the body but will cause no damage to the host. Once you acquire one strain, you develop antibodies for it and cannot be infected with that same strain again, but it is possible to be infected by the numerous other strains that exist.

 

Sexually transmitted HPV's fall into two categories:

Skin warts

  • Low-risk HPV's, which do not cause cancer but can cause skin warts on or around the genitals or anus. For example, HPV types 6 and 11 cause of 90% of all genital warts.
  • High-risk or oncogenic HPV's, which can cause cancer. At least a dozen high-risk HPV types have been identified. Two of these, HPV types 16 and 18, are responsible for the majority of HPV-caused cancers.

Human Papilloma Virus & Cervical Cancer

Human Papilloma Virus

Age at first episode of intercourse and pregnancy is important because of the position of the transformation zone in the young female cervix. The eversion of the endocervical epithelium enables easier access to the basal layers.

To the left is healthy cervical tissue.

In the centre is the phase in which the virus multiples.

To the right is integration of the virus into the cell DNA, which initiates the process of malignant change.

 

 

 

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