There are more human papillomavirus (HPV) cases in the United States than any other sexually transmitted disease (STI). HPV vaccinations may prevent some of the negative health consequences caused by HPV.
One of the most intriguing questions that linger on people’s minds is how long does HPV last?
HPV may persist in your body for years, depending on your kind. Antibodies may be produced, and the virus cleared in one to two years in most instances. Without treatment, the majority of HPV strains are dormant for good.
The information provided in this fact sheet addresses the most frequently asked questions concerning HPV.
What is the human papillomavirus, or HPV?
It can be described as the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease (STI). Approximately 43 million cases of HPV infection were reported in 2018, most of whom were in their late teens or early twenties. Many distinct strains of HPV exist. Genital warts and malignancies (cancer) have been linked to certain kinds. These diseases may, however, be prevented with immunizations. The HPV virus is distinct from HIV and herpes simplex (HSV) (herpes).
What is the mode of transmission of HPV?
You may get HPV by having intercourse with someone with the virus in their vagina, anal, or oral cavity. Vaginal intercourse and anal sex are the two most typical ways it spreads. During intercourse, intimate skin-to-skin contact may potentially transmit the disease. It is possible for someone who has HPV to infect another person even if they show no symptoms themselves.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve only had sex with one person or many. Some people develop symptoms years after having intercourse with an infected person. So it’s impossible to say when you initially received it.
Is HPV linked to any health issue?
HPV is self-destructive in the vast majority of instances (90% of the time) and poses no health risks for about two years. However, if HPV is left untreated, it may lead to genital warts and even cancer in some cases.
Genital warts often occur in the genital region as a little lump or cluster of lumps. Cauliflower-shaped ones are the most common, although other shapes and sizes are also possible. By examining the genital region, a healthcare practitioner can typically identify warts.
Is HPV latent (dormant), and how long does HPV last?
HPV may remain latent (dormant) for years after a person is infected with the virus, even if no symptoms develop.
Most HPV infections are resolved within 1 to 2 years, thanks to the immune system’s ability to fight against and eradicate the virus. There is no longer a risk of the virus spreading to other persons beyond this point.
HPV may remain latent in the body for years or even decades in severe circumstances. Even if no symptoms appear, the virus constantly replicates inside cells throughout this time.
Because of this, it is possible to test positive for HPV even if the virus has been latent for a long time.
In order to prevent the spread of HPV, all partners should be tested for the virus.
Is HPV a cancer-causing virus?
For example, HPV may cause vulva or penis or anus malignancies as well as cervical cancer. If you smoke, you may also risk developing throat cancer (called oropharyngeal cancer). There are a number several the tongue and tonsils that might be affected by this.
HPV-caused cancer may take years or even decades to emerge. HPV causes genital warts and malignancies in various ways.
A person’s risk of developing HPV-related cancer or other health issues cannot be predicted. The HPV virus may be more challenging to fend off in people with weakened immune systems (such as those with HIV). HPV-related health issues may also be more common in these individuals.
Why is HPV so dangerous, and what can be done to prevent it and its side effects?
Several measures may reduce the odds of contracting HPV a flu shot. The HPV vaccination is both safe and effective in clinical trials. To protect against protecting illnesses (including malignancies), it must be taken in appropriate age ranges.
Cervical cancer screenings are recommended. Cervical cancer may be prevented with regular screenings for women between the ages of 21 and 65.
Sexually active individuals should read the following.
Use condoms correctly every time you engage in sexual activity. This may reduce HPV infection risk. However, HPV may infect places that are not protected by condoms. As a result, it is possible that condoms may not provide 100 percent protection against HPV transmission. and
Sex with someone who has only sex with you or is in a mutually monogamous relationship.
Who should be vaccinated against HPV?
The CDC recommends HPV vaccination for the following individuals:
All male and female preteens are between 11 and 12 (or can start at age nine years).
Everyone up to 26, if they haven’t previously been immunized.
It is not advisable to vaccinate anybody beyond the age of 26. However, some individuals between the ages of 27 and 45 who haven’t been vaccinated may opt to obtain the HPV vaccine after talking to their healthcare professional about their risk of new HPV infections and the potential advantages of vaccination. At this age, there is little benefit from HPV immunization. A majority of sexually active individuals have previously been exposed to HPV, although not necessarily all of the HPV strains targeted by vaccination.
New sex partners are a risk factor for new HPV infections at any age. Existing monogamous couples are less likely to acquire a new strain of the HPV virus in the future.
How can you tell whether there is HPV virus or not?
To determine a person’s “HPV status,” there is no test. A test for HPV in the mouth or throat has not been licensed for use, which is a significant problem.
Cervical cancer may be detected using HPV testing. These tests are only used to assess women above the age of 30. If you’re under 30, you should not be screened for HPV.
Most HPV-infected individuals are completely unaware of their condition. It does not affect their health in any way. Genital warts may be a sign that someone has HPV. When a woman’s Pap test results are abnormal, she may discover that she has HPV (during cervical cancer screening). Others may only discover that they have HPV after acquiring more significant health issues, such as malignancies, from the virus.
Do HPV and HPV-related health issues occur often enough?
According to the CDC, 43 million people were infected with HPV in 2018. A total of 13 million new infections occurred in the same year. Most sexually active people will eventually get HPV if they don’t get vaccinated against it.
Cervical cancer and genital warts are only two health issues linked to HPV.
An estimated 340,000 to 360,000 persons per year were infected with HPV-induced genital warts before the development of HPV vaccinations. At any moment, one in every 100 sexually active people in the United States has genital warts.
There are around 12,000 cases of cervical cancer in the United States each year. Cervical cancer kills more than 4,000 women yearly, despite screening and treatment.
Many additional diseases and malignancies are linked to HPV infection in the United States. An estimated 19,400 women and 12,100 men get cancer yearly due to HPV-related illnesses.
Does HPV have any impact on pregnancy?
Having HPV during pregnancy might cause genital warts or abnormal cell growth on the cervix. Abnormal cell alterations may be detected during routine cervical cancer screening. It is essential to get regular screenings for cervical cancer, even when pregnant.