The Genital HPV Infection

HPV is a known cause for cervical cancer and is now believed to cause other women's cancers like vulvar and vaginal. But if you come to think of it, the human papillomavirus is a life changer for any sexually active individual, regardless of gender.

At least 50% of all sexually active people contracting it within their lifetime is highly transmissible because one can contract it through skin-to-skin contact and not just through sexual intercourse.

"Almost 80% of HPV conditions do not show any symptoms until they are already in the late, dangerous stages. This is problematic because men have a tendency to ignore health problems, more so genital infections until treatment becomes more difficult, costly and in some cases, impossible" noted Dr. Angela Bandola, an OB GYNE Infectious Disease specialist from UP-PGH during the media conference held last August 23 at Frasier Place, Salcedo Village.

What should we know about HPV?

It can happen in both male and female, and although there are various ways to prevent infection, vaccination remains the most important method to prevent HPV infection.

The HPV Vaccine

It helps not just cervical cancer but other genital cancers and genital warts as well. This coupled with regular screening and a healthy lifestyle lowers the risk of getting the diseases.

The treatment can cost around Php 20,000/session.

The symptoms of genital warts:

  • Pearly penile papules

  • Angiokeratomas - bright red or purple spots

  • hard white, yellowish or skin-coloured little bumps that may be found all over the skin of the penis and scrotum in men

  • Pimples or spots - caused by blocked sebaceous glands

  • Pimples and spots can form just as easily around the genital area as they do on the face, and may become sore and inflamed in a similar way.


 

Treatment for genital warts:

Podophyllin resin – a brown liquid that removes genital warts by stopping cell growth. Podophyllin resin and podofilox lotion is painted on to the wart(s) by a doctor or nurse and must be washed off 4 hours later (or sooner, if the area is irritated). It has to be applied by a medical professional to avoid damaging the healthy tissue around the wart and may have to be applied several times to work effectively.
Podopfilox lotion/gel – can be applied to the wart(s) by the patient at home. The usual schedule is twice a day for 3 days, followed by 4 days without any lotion. This cycle is repeated for 4 weeks. It has few side effects and is well-suited for treatment at home.
Cryocautery (also called cryotherapy) – uses liquid nitrogen to freeze more persistent warts every 1 to 3 weeks for a short period.
Laser treatments – this approach, which uses an intense beam of light, can be expensive and is usually reserved for very extensive and tough-to-treat warts.
Electrocautery – an electrical current is used to super-heat a needle which burns the wart cells and cauterises the blood vessels. A local anesthetic is used to prevent any pain and the procedure is usually carried out at a doctor's surgery. Electrocautery is used only after other treatments have failed.
Surgical excision – the doctor will perform minor surgery to remove the wart under local anesthetic.

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