How does a high-risk HPV transmission take place and how do we know if we have detected it? The following article supplies you with information regarding this subject.
A high-risk HPV (Human papillomavirus) is a type of virus that can cause certain sexually transmitted diseases like genital warts or cervical cancer. The HPV is responsible for several sexually transmitted diseases, but a high-risk HPV is more dangerous and can lead to cancer.
A high-risk transmission typically occurs when there is intimate sexual contact between two partners (same or different sex), sharing of sex toys without disinfecting them, superficial genitalia to genitalia contact and transmission from an infected mother to her baby during delivery. These are some of the ways by which HPV may be transmitted.
HPV Types and Risk Factors
There are more than 120 types of HPV, and about 40 types can affect the genital tract. Out of these, 13-19 types fall in the category of high-risk HPVs.
The risk factors that are involved in putting you at risk of catching the HPV virus are:
- Having unprotected sex
- Multiple partners for physical encounters
- Sexual debut at a young age
HPV transmission facts state that most of the time, people don’t even realize that they are suffering from sexually transmitted diseases or infections because the symptoms aren’t clear. However, a high-risk transmission leads to certain obvious symptoms in a person. Let us review these symptoms.
High-risk HPV in men usually manifests through the formation of genital warts. Genital warts can develop in women as well. These warts have the appearance of bumps and develop in the genitals, around them or on them. Genital warts can develop months after a sexual encounter with an infected person, even though the infected person might not exhibit any signs of genital warts. These warts can appear in clusters or as a single unit. They could be flat or raised and scaly. Most of the time, these warts will fade away by themselves. But sometimes they might increase in size and cause pain and discomfort.
Even high-risk HPV do not easily lead to cancer. Cancer is developed if the infection has been persistent for over two years or more. Unfortunately, cervical cancer is diagnosed in the later stages and therefore, it is important to get it diagnosed early on. Look for signs like heavy menstrual bleeding, cramping as well as bleeding between periods. Make sure that you undergo a pap smear procedure to rule out the chances of cervical cancer. The other kinds of cancers caused are cancers of the vulva, anus, penis, vagina, head, neck, tongue, and tonsils.
There are certain other warts that might develop as well like the Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP) which is caused due to warts in the throat.
Tests and Treatment
Even though there are no specific tests for diagnosing a high-risk HPV transmission, there are certain general tests that can be used. For women, the pap smear test can detect an HPV infection early on and thus prevent chances of developing cervical cancer. A general examination of the genitalia could also help to rule out the occurrence of warts. In men, however, there are no such tests. The doctor will have to physically check the genitalia to see whether there is presence of any warts on it.
The treatment of warts early on can prevent the onset of cancer. So also, all the other symptoms that come about due to a high-risk transmission should be best cured in its early stages. Some of the symptoms can be treated with surgery and medication as well. However, many have noticed that the milder versions of these symptoms usually treat by themselves.
A high-risk HPV transmission can be prevented if you take the necessary precautions. These would include having protected sex with a person that you trust and getting untoward symptoms checked immediately. Being aware of the changes in your body could save you from contracting a life-threatening disease.