All You Want to Know About the Causes, Symptoms, Types, and Prevention of HPV
HPV is a very common condition, although most people may not know it. It affects several dozen millions of people in the United States alone, not mentioning other places across the world. Yet, many of those who have the infection are not aware of it.
What is this infection and how do you know whether you have it? We will discuss in this article practically everything you need to know regarding HPV.
HPV and Types
HPV is an abbreviation for human papillomavirus, a very common sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is mostly harmless but can lead to health issues in some cases. The “papilloma” in the name of the virus is in reference to its capability to produce a kind of wart or benign lump.
The organism is usually present in epithelial cells present on the surface of the skin. You will also find these cells on the head or surface of the penis, vagina, vulva, cervix or anus. HPV is attracted to moist, mucous membranes of the body.
This virus doesn’t just refer to a specific one. It comes in numerous strains. The estimates of the different types range from more than 100 to over 200.
Only around 40 HPV types are believed to lead to infections. Each of the strain has its own specific number.
HPV is currently the most widespread STI in the United States. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) puts the number of those infected in America at roughly 79 million. Also, around 14 million people get a new infection every year.