In the world today, sexually transmitted diseases are very rampant. In fact, statistically, over 60% of all sexually active humans have a particular sexually transmitted illness or the other. One of the most common sexually transmitted diseases is the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). This disease is one of the various kinds of sexually transmitted infections that causes infections and genital warts. According to the Center for Disease Control/Protection, approximately over 6 million cases of sexually transmitted Human Papillomavirus have reported annually.
There are over a hundred different types of HPV, which are classified/differentiated based on the rate and amount of risk that pertains to each type. Certain kinds of this virus cause genital warts, visible bumps in the genital areas of infected men and women. These bumps can be seen in the vagina, vulva, cervix, penis, and the rectum. These kinds are generally classified as the low-risk types.
The high-risk types mostly cause cancer. Typical skin bumps on some parts of the body, including the hands and the feet soles, could be some kind of HPV. These type of HPV do not lead to genital warts.
HPV that leads to genital warts are contracted during sexual intercourse with an infected partner be it oral, anal, or vaginal sex. it is passed from skin-to-skin contact.
In infected men, warts grow in genital parts including the penis, the scrotum, the groin and sometimes, in the anus. In infected women, warts grow around the vagina, the vulva, cervix and also in the anus.
CAUSES OF HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS
Generally, HPV occurs when the virus comes into the human body, mostly through a disruption in the skin, and subsequently infects the body cells in the layers of the skin. The virus then multiplies and duplicates itself in the body of the infected person. It might take weeks or months for symptoms to start showing on the body of an infected person. Some people don’t show symptoms at all which make’s it difficult for them to be aware they are infected.
Warts are highly transmittable. They mainly spread by skin to skin contact with the wart or infected parts of the body.
HPV infections are very common and infectious, the risk factors include;
AGE: Flat and common warts mostly develop in children and young adults. Genital HPV infections mainly occur in children and young adults
NUMBER OF SEXUAL PARTNERS: People that have high number of sexual partners are at more risk of contracting HPV infection
BROKEN SKIN: Damaged OR broken skin have more tendencies of contracting HPV infection.
IMMUNE SYSTEM: People with an altered immune system, including HIV patients, an organ transplant recipient, are at more risk of genital HPV infection.
Symptoms of HPV Infection
Some HPV infection symptoms are not visible, thereby going unnoticed. The virus can stay in the body for weeks, or a lifetime without showing any sign and symptom of infection. For infected people who show symptoms, though the kind of signs depends on the nature and type of the disease.
Let us examine some of the common symptoms;
COMMON WARTS: These warts or bumps don’t cause pains. They have rough surfaces, and they mostly appear on the face, fingers and sometimes on the knees.
FLAT WARTS: These warts are smooth and small. They appear as clusters around the neck of sometimes the legs.
PLANTAR WARTS: These warts are quite painful, they appear on soles of the feet.
GENITAL WARTS: Genital warts are small and not painful but they sometimes they bleed and itch.
HPV and Pregnancy
During pregnancy, if the mother has an HPV infection with visible genital warts, these warts might likely swell and increase. Big genital warts have the tendency to block the birth channel, making vaginal delivery very tough. Treatment of conditions like this is postponed till after the birth of the baby. Mothers with this genital infection could also infect the infant during labor.
The detection of HPV is very vital, as it can also be transmitted to an infant. Causing genital or respiratory system infection during childbirth.
Partners infected with HPV experience genital warts in and around the mouth or throat during or after having oral sex with the infected person.
Approximately sixty percent (60%) of people that are sexually active get infected with one kind of HPV at some point. Most are unaware because even if genital growths appear, they are usually flat and often invincible for them to notice.
Human papillomavirus infections that are low risk (the ones that cause genital warts) are highly transmissible. These activities include intercourse, kissing, and direct contact with infected areas like the penis, scrotum, vagina, vulva, or the anus. Oral sex with an infected partner can also result in oral respiratory lesions.
Sizes of genital warts vary from person to person and also depends on the kind of HPV the infected person carries. While some genital warts are so small that it might be visible to the eyes, some others are big and very obvious.
It is also very possible for warts not to appear at all.
Symptoms include itching and discomfort. Most people infected with low-risk HPV may not know they are infected because they might not see the obvious symptoms. Some low-risk HPV infections resolve on their own, sometimes these infections are dominant and can infect the sexual partner. High-risk HPV types lead to cervical cancer which includes cancer of the penis, cervix, vagina or anus.
Whenever you experience these symptoms, please endeavor to see a doctor.