Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
by: Moesha Ciceron
HPV stands for human papillomavirus, but there are actually more than 100 related viruses in this group. Each HPV virus is given a number or type. The term "papilloma" refers to a kind of wart that results from some HPV types.
HPV lives in the body's epithelial cells. These are flat and thin cells found on the skin's surface. Exceptions to this is when the virus infects the mouth or throat.
Of the 100 HPV types, about 60 types cause warts on areas such as the hands or feet. The other 40 or so types of HPV are sexually transmitted and are drawn to the body's mucous membranes, such as the moist layers around the anal and genital areas
How are diagnosis made?
- Warts which can appear within months after getting HPV.
- Cancer which often takes years—even decades—to develop after a person gets HPV.
People who are more likely to get HPV:
- Those who have sex at an early age,
- Those who have many sex partners,
- Or those who have a sex partner who has had multiple partners