What is HPV infection and why you need to know about it?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a viral infection that commonly causes skin or mucous membrane (which lines the various openings of the body) warts. There are many strains (or types) of this virus – while some causes warts, others cause various cancers. Fortunately, most of these infections don’t lead to cancer. However, some of them do, which includes cancers of the cervix, vagina, anus, penis, vulva and many more! These infections are commonly transmitted sexually or through another skin-to-skin contact (hence, are contagious!). Fortunately, vaccines can help protect against the types of HPV that could potentially cause genital warts or cervical cancer.

HPV infections are pretty common. Risk factors include:

·         Multiple sexual partners

The higher the number of sexual partners you have, the more likely you are to contract the infection. Having sexual intercourse with a partner with multiple sexual partners increases your risk as well.

·         Age

Children usually get common warts from other children due to skin contact, however, teenagers and adolescents/young adults, on the other hand, contract genital warts more often.

·         Weak immunity

People with weakened immune systems tend to be more at risk compared to the general population. Thus, people infected with HIV or those who are taking immunosuppressants are at greater risk.

·         Skin abrasions

Skin that is injured/punctured is more prone to developing common warts.

·         Contact

Touching another’s warts or surfaces exposed to HPV (such as public pools or toilets) without wearing any protection may increase your risk of infection.

Main Menu