Human Papillomavirus

The Human Papillomavirus or simply HPV comes from a family of DNA viruses and causes subclinical reactions to infections in the human body. The virus is natively found in animals like cattle, but the HPV is a strain of the virus which can cause conditions in a human being also.


Most of the types of HPV’s are carcinogenic, from a family of DNA viruses and are closely linked to cervical cancer, genital warts, foot and hand warts. Other medical conditions that may be caused because of HPV affecting areas of the body are Oral papillomas, Oropharyngeal cancer, Verrucous cyst, etc. HPV’s do not cause any abnormal reaction in the body. HPV is clinically accepted as the most commonly occurring sexually transmitted disease in the known world.


Since the reactions are subclinical, they general do not develop into serious ailments, but in some cases it can cause warts to appear in affected areas of the skin or even develop in cancer of the areas such as the cervix, vagina, anus, etc.

HPV may be transmitted through various media like hands, blood and shared objects. Not only is HPV transmitted from one person to another by fluid transfer like sexual contact, HPV may even be transmitted from a mother to her child during pregnancy. Genital infections are common if HPV has been transmitted by sexual contact.


 Prevention methods can include the use of condoms, although this does not guarantee protection from HPV being transmitted from areas other than the areas covered by the condom. Topical microbicides are available freely at pharmaceutical shops and offer a degree of protection as well.


Diagnosis is usually performed depending upon the degree of risk the condition poses. It is termed low-risk if the HPV infection does not result in conditions like cancer, high-risk otherwise.


There is no known treatment for HPV yet.