Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection and sexually active men and women are usually exposed to this virus at some point in their lifetime.
Most HPV infections are benign i.e. non-cancerous, causing warts on different areas of the body and in worst cases, they cause cancer. The HPV that affects the genitals is very common.
Some individuals do not have symptoms of HPV infection, and this can be due to the high immune system present in their body which will help to fight against the virus, and some will develop warts from the infection.
HPV symptoms vary depending on the HPV type that infects the person. HPV 6 and 11 causes 90% of all genital warts according to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services.
Oral HPV, often has no symptoms, and this does not make people realize they have been infected with the virus.
This automatically hinders them from taking necessary steps to treat it fast and limit the spread of the disease. This type of HPV, i.e., Oral HPV, can turn to oropharyngeal cancer if it is not treated quickly.
Cancer cells usually form in the middle of the throat, including the tongue, tonsils, and pharynx walls if someone has oropharyngeal cancer. The Early symptoms of Oropharyngeal cancer include: coughing out blood, unexplained weight loss, constant sore throats, lumps on the neck, and trouble in swallowing e.tc.
Genital warts do not cause any symptoms, but they are sometimes associated with itching, burning sensation or tenderness, and irritations can also occur. However, Women who have genital warts in the vagina may experience symptoms like bleeding or an abnormal vaginal discharge.
How HPV is transmitted:
Direct contact with the skin of an infected person is a typical way of spreading HPV. Another way of contracting the virus can be through Vaginal, anal, oral intercourse and other sexual contacts. HPV can also be passed through body fluids or mucous membranes.
The virus can as well be transmitted to an uninfected person if the individual comes in contact with materials or inanimate objects that have been used or touched by an infected person such as clothes, towel, door handles, shoe, etc.