Until the 1990s, few people had heard of HPV, even though it had been causing infection since the dawn of human history. Extensive research on this type of virus began in the 1970s when it was suspected that it might be responsible for the development of ovarian cancer. Based on the research that has been done, it has been shown that this type of pathogen increases the risk of many cancers of the genitourinary system as well as cancers of the head and throat.
Human papillomavirus – human papillomavirus
HPV attacks the skin and mucous membranes. It is a very insidious disease of known pathogens – HPV infection often does not cause any symptoms for a long time, and a sick person unknowingly transmits the infection by infecting his sexual partners. In many cases, the body fights infection on its own, protecting itself from its effects, but some types of HPV are especially dangerous due to their influence on the development of oncological diseases.
This calls high-gene viruses, including the 13 different types of HPV. They are marked with Arabic numerals, and among the viruses that are especially dangerous to health, we distinguish HPV 16 and HPV 18, which are one of the common causes of the development of cervical cancer. HPV 6 and HPV 11 low-lying viruses are a common cause of urogenital infection, which leads to the appearance of genital warts on the skin. Peripheral condylomas are papillary lesions that appear, among others, in the area of the male and female genitalia, anus, as well as in the mouth.
The route of infection with the human papilloma virus
HPV infection most often occurs during unprotected vaginal, anal, and oral intercourse. Unfortunately, while condoms reduce the risk of HPV and other sexually transmitted infections, they do not protect them 100%.
Some sources say that we can also get HPV using, among other things, common linen, bath towels and sponges, as well as towels, but this fact has not been fully confirmed by scientific research. There is also a risk of transmission of the virus through dirty hands to intimate areas, for example when using public toilets.
Most cases of HPV infection are fought by a properly functioning immune system, but as a result of reduced immunity, this can lead to infection, for example. Chronic infections of the genitourinary system and increase the risk of cancer.
Important! HPV can actually become infected during the initiation of sex, so preventive vaccinations against especially dangerous types of HPV are recommended.
HPV infection – symptoms
In most cases, HPV infection is asymptomatic. A typical symptom of infection is characteristic changes in the area of the external genitalia and anus, as well as in the mouth. These are cauliflower-like warts, which, however, occur only in some sufferers.
Genital warts are often the only symptom of infection, but they don’t always prompt you to see a doctor. Important! The absence of genital warts does not mean that there is no active HPV in the body, so it is very important to avoid risky sexual contact.
In short, HPV is not only highly insidious but also a pathogen that is dangerous to health, and we can contract it primarily during sexual contact. We can protect ourselves from the health risks associated with infection by choosing preventive vaccinations against high-gene types of HPV.
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