The genital human papilloma virus (HPV) is the most prevalent sexually transmitted infection (STI). There are around 40 types of HPV that could infect the genitals, mouth, and throat with different symptoms and health issues.
Fact 1. HPV can be passed through all forms of sexual contact with the infected person showing no outward signs of the infection.
Fact 2. The HPV can lie dormant in a person for years before flaring up.
Fact 3. Children born of an infected woman can develop Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP), indicated by the presence of warts in the throat.
Fact 4. In 90% of the cases, HPV does not cause health problems as the immune system clears it within 2 years. However, HPV infections can cause genital warts or cervical cancer.
Fact 5. Genital warts will not turn into cancer and can appear within weeks or months after contact.
Fact 6. An estimated 20 million Americans are infected with HPV with 6 million being infected each year. It is a common infection that at least 50% of sexually active persons get at some point in their lives.
Fact 7. Other types of cancer afflicting people in the U.S. are vuvlar cancer (1,500), vaginal cancer (500), penile cancer (400), anal cancer (2,700 women and 1,500 men) and oropharyngeal cancer (1,500 women and 5,600 men).
Fact 8. HPV can be prevented by vaccines, the usage of condoms, and by living a less promiscuous life.
Fact 9. There is no treatment for the HPV virus, but there are treatments for the effects of HPV. Genital warts can be removed. Cervical cancer can be treated if diagnosed early through Pap tests.
Fact 10. Asia has a population of 139 million women ages 15 and older who are susceptible to developing cervical cancer. About 10% of the women are estimated to harbor the cervical HPV infection at one time.