HPV fact sheets may provide data on the most prevalent conditions induced by this virus, on its transmission, prevention and treatment options. HPV is a very widespread infection and there are millions of people infected by HPV. This virus is able to cause different diseases; some of them, like cervical cancer, are really serious, and it is important to know how to decrease the risk of this infection.
One of the purposes of HPV fact sheets is to provide a better understanding that people should avoid risky sexual behavior. HPV infects skin and mucosa and may be spread by any direct contact with an infected partner. In most cases HPV infection is transmitted sexually. A high number of sex partners, the first sexual contacts before the age of 16 years old, and unprotected sex increase risk of HPV and other sexually transmitted infections.
HPV can provoke abnormal changes in the epithelial cells. A typical manifestation of HPV infection is the presence of warts, benign skin growths that appear in different parts of the body. HPV infection can also induce the development of precancerous conditions like dysplasia of the cervix and cancerous tumors, like cervical cancer. Carcinogenic potential of HPV is one more reason to spread HPV fact sheets among the population.
Yearly medical examination helps to detect early signs of HPV infection and prevent dangerous conditions. In female genital HPV infection, the essential cause of cervical cancer may be discovered by cytological analysis of cervical cells called a Pap smear. Nowadays there are also HPV DNA tests available that enable doctors to reveal HPV even if visible symptoms are absent. HPV fact sheets usually describe diagnostic procedures that women should have regularly.
HPV fact sheets often provide information about the most commonly used treatments HPV-induced diseases, like warts and dysplasia. External HPV lesions may be treated by chemical preparations, cytotoxic drugs, immunological methods and destructive methods (surgical excision, electrosurgical methods, cryotherapy, laser therapy). Patients with invasive cancer may require a treatment by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. And it is very important to note that the earlier the condition is found, the more effectively and easily it can be treated.
Sometimes people suspect they have HPV, and they need more information about possible causes and consequences of the infection. They also seek recommendations about screening and treatment of HPV-associated conditions. HPV fact sheets, which may answer most of these questions, are usually available on special medical websites or from health care providers.