Human Genital HPV infections are very common

Human papilloma virus
(HPV) can appear just about anywhere on the body. The most common locations are
mouth, anus and genitals where moist mucous membranes exist. Some common
symptoms are warts, small, big, white, beige or brown skin growths and even several
different types of cancer.  There are
more than 100 different types of HPV all with their own area to invade.  Some cause the small, painless,
rough-surfaced warts found on the fingers and face. Others cause the larger,
more painful and flatter warts that grow on the soles of the feet. More than 25
different types of HPV can infect the skin covering the sex organs, cervix and
opening of the anus. Genital HPV infections are very common and up to 80
percent of sexually active adults will get an HPV infection of the genital area
at some point in their lives. In most cases, these infections do not cause
symptoms, but in a small number of women, they cause changes in the cervix that
can become cancerous if not treated. 
They may also cause genital warts which affect about 1 percent of sexually
active people.  HPV is also linked to
cancer of the penis, vulva, anus and vagina.

HPV is spread through sexual contact.
Most infected people have no symptoms and are unaware they are infected and can
unintentionally transmit the virus to a sex partner. Pregnant woman rarely pass
HPV to her baby during vaginal delivery. 
Most people who become infected with HPV have no symptoms but some do
get the visible warts or have the precancerous changes in the cervix, vulva,
anus or penis. Most HPV infections don’t cause any symptoms and eventually go
away as the body’s own defense system clears the virus. Women with temporary
HPV infections may develop mild Pap test abnormalities that go away with time.  Some types of HPV are considered
to be high-risk types and can lead to some cancers, such as cervical cancer and
cancer of the vulva and the vagina. Other lower-risk types of HPV lead to
genital warts. They’re called low-risk because they’re unlikely to cause
cancer. The only sure
protection against HPV infection is lifelong relationship with an uninfected
partner.  Other ways to protect your self
is the use of condoms and other barrier methods such as dental dams. However, a
new vaccine called Gardasil can now protect women from certain types of
HPV.  This vaccine was licensed in 2006
and is proven to protect against 70% of cervical cancers and 90% of genital
warts caused by HPV. There is no vaccine for men yet.  If infected with HPV there are some
treatments available once it has progressed to warts.  There are over the counter ointments, lotions
and plaster available to help eliminate or slow the growth of the warts.  If the over the counter treatments are
unsuccessful you can freeze the warts or cauterize them using electricity. In
some cases the application of strong medications such as acids or podophyllum,
which is a poison that comes from a plant are necessary.

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The outlook varies.
Without treatment about 1/2 of common warts disappear on their own within 6 to
12 months. Others may dissolve when an over the counter treatment is used for
several weeks or months. Out of all the office treatments, surgical removal of
the wart gives the best results because the wart is cut away in one doctor’s
visit. Other forms of treatment require several office visits like freezing or
cauterizing. After a wart has been removed, there is no guarantee that it will
not come back because it is difficult to be certain that HPV infection has been
eliminated from the deeper layers of the infected skin. Some stubborn warts
require several rounds of treatment before they go away for good. There is an effective vaccine available to prevent being infected with
certain strains of HPV. Because HPV is frequently acquired within a few years
of the start of sexual activity and because HPV more frequently affects the
young children’s cervixes, the most effective use of this vaccine is in young
girls between the age of 10–12.  Pediatricians
and others who care for this population must acknowledge the value of
administering this vaccine prior to the start of sexual activity and prepare to
educate families of the availability and efficacy of HPV vaccines.