Venereology
HPV Virus
Information on HPV Virus
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), is an epitheliotrophic virus. It only occurs in our body's epithelium, such as the skin, the oral mucosa, the vagina, the anus, and so on. It is transmitted only when the damaged area comes to contact with other epithelia.

There are more than one hundred types of virus and more than forty afflicting the woman's rectum area (the rectum, vagina and anus) while rarely infecting other epithelia or anatomical areas. About fifteen types have been characterized as oncogenic and can cause cancer mainly in the uterine cervix and other areas of the human body such as the anus, vulva and the oropharyngeal cavity in men and women.
 
While HPV is found in literally everybody, not many people are aware of that and even fewer recognize it when it appears. The moles on your body, the warts, the papillomas on your soles or palms are recognizable manifestations of the virus, without the world knowing they are related to HPV.

How Is HPV Virus Manifested?
The different manifestations of HPV feature:
  • Warts: They are benign, vaginal bumps that usually appear on the face, near the mouth, forehead or cheeks, on the hands and fingers. HPV causes rapid skin cell proliferation, resulting in benign bulges that are more annoying than dangerous, but which are highly contagious.
  • Papillomas: These are small patches of the skin that look like nausea and appear primarily in the neck, armpits and the area under the breast or bra from women. Skin patches are a very common phenomenon affecting almost all ages. They are small sums of cells of skin colour and project from the skin either with a broad base or with a small stem. The colour of papillomas may be like normal skin or have a brown hue.
  • Condylomas: The term "condylomas" refers to swelling occurring on the skin or mucous membranes and caused by the HPV human papillomavirus. Condylomas are either flat or protruding from the skin, in small size, like a pin head. They may, however, be larger, and be alone or together. Their surface is usually abnormal and their color is skin-colored or pink, and they look like the cauliflower's appearance in miniature.

How Is HPV Virus Transmitted?
Because HPV is an epitheliotrophic virus, it is transmitted only from the lesion area when it comes into contact with other epithelia, such as the skin, the oral mucosa, the vagina, the cervix, and so on.

Undoubtedly, sexual intercourse is the most common cause of transmission of these viruses, without ever requiring full penetration during sexual intercourse. The condom does not protect against the infection as it does not completely cover the areas of the skin that infects the virus. The infection occurs when HPV enters the body through a small incision, skin or rupture in the skin's skin surface. HPV can be transmitted even if the person infected with the virus has never experienced any symptoms. This is the reason why the exact time of the infection is difficult to ascertain.

HPV Virus In Women
It is estimated that 80% of women are affected by HPV by the age of 50. For most women, HPV is not a problem, since the majority of HPV infections are transient. For some women, however, the infection persists. Cervical cancer is the world's second most common cancer in women under 45 years of age. In Greece, about 600 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year. 90% to 90% of cervical carcinomas are detected by high-risk HPV DNA. "Low-risk" types of HPV can cause warts, but they can be treated. According to research, of the 100 women infected with HPV, only 1-2 women are at risk of having precancerous or cancerous lesions in the uterine cervix as long as they are not subject to the required screening, which can be detected in time. It is noteworthy that the development of lesions is late, in 5-15 years.

The well-known Pap Test, is the first step in detecting the virus. From now on, the visit to the gynecologist is necessary. Colposcopy is the second step in accurately determining and locating warts, the presence of malformations and precancerous conditions. Colposcopy is a very simple method, painless, easy and decisive for diagnosis and treatment. It should be noted here that any treatment in the cervix is forbidden without colposcopy and if a biopsy of the lesion is needed. Every sexually active woman is at risk of being infected with human papillomavirus.

The younger the age of a woman, the more easily she is affected by HPV, but at the same time it is easier to overcome the infection. In contrast, older women are less likely to be affected by the virus, but when they do, they find it hard to get rid of it. Otherwise, the best way to prevent the virus is to vaccinate with the HPV vaccine before starting sexual contact.

HPV Virus In Men
Although most of the HPV information comes from researchers working on gynecology, especially uterine cancer, women are not the only ones who can become infected with human papillomavirus. In men, HPV infection can cause, for example, genital warts, as well as women, which can potentially turn into cancer. It is estimated that about 50% of men who are carriers of HPV will become ill at some point in their lives and will experience symptoms of the virus.

It is very important, therefore, to understand that HPV does not discriminate in terms of sex and age. Prevention and prophylaxis are the only ways to protect men, like women, from HPV, and, of course, in the event of an outbreak of the virus, the only suitable to recommend treatment is the dermatologist to whom it has to resort directly the patient.

Treating HPV Virus With DNA Test
HPV-DNA test is an extremely reliable and sensitive test that helps detect over 95% of HPV infections associated with cervical disease, even before they cause visible cell lesions. It is the only test that can detect and simultaneously identify specific HPV types responsible for an infection and identify the existence of chronic residual infection. Knowing what specific type of HPV virus and how long a patient has been affected can determine the risk of a woman presenting a cervical cancer and determine if you need further testing or not. All women must start doing the Pap Test after their first sexual intercourse. Experts recommend that all women, regardless of age, who have unclear results from the Pap Test, should then perform HPV DNA testing to clarify the presence or not of the virus in their cervix. In women over 30 years, the incidence of cervical cancer is increased because HPV infections may persist for months or even years before problems arise. For this reason, doctors now recommend that every woman older than 30 years of age should do HPV-DNA testing at the same time as Pap Test.
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