All About HPV

Human Papilloma Virus

FYI

  • HPV is transmitted through intimate skin to skin contact
  • More than 100 varieties of HPV exist
  • HPV can cause cervical cancer, throat cancer (oropharyngeal cancer), anal cancer and many more.
  • A vaccination for HPV does exist, but it is not curable.
  • About 79 million Americans are currently infected, and about 14 million more will become infected each year.

Genetics of HPV

Once a person has skin to skin contact with someone who is infected with HPV, the virus is transmitted to the other person. The virus can then get into the epithelial cells and begin to make proteins (E6, E7, & E1), these proteins interfere with cell functions that normally prevent excessive division of the cells through the process of mitosis. E6 promotes p53 degradation (p53 is controls cell division), this allows the cell to divide freely and spread the virus; also, E6 activates telomerase, which gives the cell more telomere length, which gives the cell a longer life span. E7 proliferates the growth and spreading of the infected cells. Since the proteins are now taking over the cell and the cell can now divide freely (developing mutations), this can promote the growth of a tumor, which can lead to cancer.

Prevention

  • Two Vaccines:
  • Gardasil and Cevarix - both 3 stages of shots
  • They are safe and highly effective
  • Gardasil is approved for males as well as women

Treatment

  • There is no cure for HPV, but the symptoms of the infection are treatable.
  • Lesions caused by HPV can be removed