Get a month of TabletWise Pro for free! Click here to redeem


Also called: Human papillomavirus

Human papillomaviruses (HPV) are common viruses that can cause warts. There are more than 100 types of HPV. Most are harmless, but about 30 types put you at risk for cancer. These types affect the genitals and you get them through sexual contact with an infected partner. They can be either low-risk or high-risk. Low-risk HPV can cause genital warts. High-risk HPV can lead to cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, and anus in women. In men, it can lead to cancers of the anus and penis.

Although some people develop genital warts from HPV infection, others have no symptoms. Your health care provider can treat or remove the warts. In women, Pap tests can detect changes in the cervix that might lead to cancer. Both Pap and HPV tests are types of cervical cancer screening.

Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading HPV. Vaccines can protect against several types of HPV, including some that can cause cancer.

NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Symptoms of HPV

The following features are indicative of HPV:
  • mucous membrane growths
  • black dots
  • rough bumps
It is possible that HPV shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.

Get TabletWise Pro

Thousands of Classes to Help You Become a Better You.

Common Causes of HPV

The following are the most common causes of HPV:
  • human papillomavirus

Risk Factors for HPV

The following factors may increase the likelihood of HPV:
  • children
  • multiple number of sexual partners
  • weakened immune system
  • damaged skin
  • using public showers or swimming pools

Prevention of HPV

Yes, it may be possible to prevent HPV. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • get vaccinated against human papillomavirus
  • use condoms during sexual activity

Occurrence of HPV

Number of Cases

The following are the number of HPV cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

HPV can occur at any age.

Common Gender

HPV can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of HPV

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect HPV:
  • Pap test: To examine the abnormalities that can lead to cancer
  • DNA test: To analyze the DNA of the high-risk varieties of Human papillomavirus
  • Vinegar solution test: To recognize the lesions

Doctor for Diagnosis of HPV

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of HPV:
  • Dermatologist
  • Podiatrist
  • Gynecologist
  • Urologist

Complications of HPV if untreated

Yes, HPV causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if HPV is left untreated:
  • cancer

Procedures for Treatment of HPV

The following procedures are used to treat HPV:
  • Cryotherapy: Freezing with liquid nitrogen that destroys the tissue
  • Loop electrosurgical excision procedure: Eliminating the cervical tissue by using a hot wire loop
  • Surgical conization: To alleviate a cone-shaped piece of tissue from the cervix and cervical canal
  • Laser vaporization conization: To kill the cervical tissue

Self-care for HPV

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of HPV:
  • Avoid nail biting: Avoid nail biting helps in preventing the human papillomavirus infection
  • Avoid multiple sex partners: By lowering the number of sex partners helps in preventing transmission the infection
  • Use latex condom: Protects from developing warts

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of HPV

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of HPV:
  • Apply chloroform extracts of garlic: Helps in relieving cutaneous warts

Patient Support for Treatment of HPV

The following actions may help HPV patients:
  • Education: By providing education about safe sexual practices and warnings about tobacco use

Time for Treatment of HPV

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for HPV to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 6 months - 1 year

Is HPV Infectious?

Yes, HPV is known to be infectious. It can spread across people via the following means:
  • direct sexual contact

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for HPV.
Cervical Cancer
Cervical Cancer Screening
Genital Warts

Sign Up