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HPV Testing London

HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS (HPV)

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common STIs in the United Kingdom. People exposed to this virus are sexually active men and women. There are about 14 million new cases of HPV every year. HPV is of different types, and there are vaccines that can protect from the infection.

Some types of HPV can lead to genital warts, while others can even cause cancer. Every year, in the UK, about 12 thousand men and 19 thousand women are affected by cancer that arises from HPV.

Here, we would be explaining all about HPV and how to treat it.

Quick facts on HPV

  1. HPV is spread through oral, anal or vaginal sex with an infected person
  2. Sexually active people are affected at some point in their lives
  3. In some cases, HPV can cause genital or respiratory infection to an infant by means of childbirth
  4. It causes genital warts and some types of cancer
  5. HPV has no cure, but there are effective medications available to relieve symptoms

Causes

As mentioned earlier, HPV is a viral disease. This means it is caused by a virus and is transmitted through any form of sexual activity or direct skin contact of the genitals with an infected person. Most HPV infections are benign and therefore cause warts on some parts of the body, like the hand, feet and especially the genitals.

Mode of transmission

HPV is transmitted through anal, oral or vaginal sex with an infected person. It is also transmitted through childbirth from mother to infant, and also through the skin to skin contact with infected genitals.

Who is at risk?

Although HPV is a common STI, not everyone is infected. People who have a higher risk of infection are people who;

  • Have been exposed to warts
  • Have a weak immune system, probably after a bout of illness or organ transplant
  • Have multiple sexual partners
  • Have sex with someone who has multiple sexual partners
  • Have areas of damaged skin

There’s Only One Way to Know

Getting tested is not only quick and easy, it’s the only way to know for sure
if you do or do not have an STD.

Put Your Mind at Ease Today

or call 020 7183 0649

Symptoms

Infection of HPV may not show symptoms in some people. For others, it can take years before symptoms will show. There are different types of HPV; some lead to warts and others, cancer.

  1. Warts

Genital warts are the most common symptoms of HPV. They appear as small, fleshy bumps, or cluster of bumps in the vulva in women, and the penis or scrotum in men. They can also appear in the groin or anus. They are of different sizes, large, small, flat, or different shape. It can be white, or the same tone as your skin.

There are other warts also caused by HPV. They include;

  • Flat warts: These mostly affect children, adolescents, and young adults. They manifest as slightly raised flat-topped lesions, which are darker than the normal skin tone. They are mostly found on face, neck and areas that are being scratched.
  • Common warts: These are raised bumps which can be rough and are found mostly on elbows, hands and fingers.
  • Plantar Warts: These are commonly found on heels or balls of the feet. They are best described as hard and grainy bumps on feet.
  1. Cancer

Some types of HPV can cause or increase the risk of developing some types of cancer such as cervical cancer, cancer of the penis,  vagina, anus, oropharynx or base of tongue and nostrils. It doesn’t develop easily, as it can take a lot of years before the cancer cells develop.

Diagnosis

The appearance of visible warts are enough reasons to book an appointment with a doctor to test for HPV. Diagnosis can be a visual inspection or can include a pap smear test, which involves collecting cells from the vagina or cervix. These are tested for any abnormalities which can cause cancer.

DNA test can also be used to test for HPV. This is usually recommended together with a pap smear for women who are 30 years and older. There is currently no other test available for men (asides visual inspection) to check for HPV.

Treatment of HPV

Once you have been tested positive for HPV, the next step would be treatment. However, there is no treatment for the virus, but there are medications for the symptoms. Different medications are given based on symptoms.

Warts

Some medications are applied to the skin to remove warts. They include Podofilox, Podophyllin, salicylic acid, trichloroacetic acid etc. In serious cases, there may be surgical procedures which include;

  1. Laser therapy:Use of light beam to remove unwanted tissue
  2. Cryotherapy:Use of liquid nitrogen to freeze them off
  3. Electrocautery:  Useof electric current to burn them off
  4. Interferon injection
  5. Surgery

These are adopted after deliberation with a doctor to determine which is best, and it depends on the type of warts and its location.

Cancer

Pap smear test and other screening can help to detect early stage of cancer. Measures are then taken to prevent future development.

Prevention

Preventing infection of HPV entails simple practices such as;

  1. Taking the HPV vaccines
  2. Avoiding sex when there are visible warts
  3. Practising safe sex
  4. Avoid multiple sexual partners

Vaccination

Vaccinations have been recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to people from the age of 11 and 12 to reduce the risk of cervical and other types of cancer from developing.

It is given in two doses, 6 -12 months apart. There are other vaccines recommended for males of 21 years of age and females of 26 years who did not receive at a young age. Fortunately, there are three HPV vaccines available. They are Gardasil, Cervarix and Gardasil 9.

There’s Only One Way to Know

Getting tested is not only quick and easy, it’s the only way to know for sure
if you do or do not have an STD.

Put Your Mind at Ease Today

or call 020 7183 0649