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Other Topics: HPV Treatment, HPV Infection, HPV Picture, HPV Testing, HPV Testing for Man, Human Papilloma Virus and Pregnancy, Human Papilloma Virus, Cervical Dysplasia Alternative Treatment, ASCUS Pap Smear, Remove Genital Wart

HSR Research > HPV type

HPV type

In many cases it is important to determine what HPV type is present in an HPV-positive person. HPV is a group of viruses that consists of more than 100 types. It is estimated that about 50% of sexually active persons are infected by HPV. In many people HPV infection doesn’t cause any symptoms, but it can also be responsible for different epithelial lesions. HPV-induced lesions may be either benign or malignant, and based on the association with malignancies HPV types are divided into low-risk and high-risk types.

If a low-risk HPV type is detected in a patient, it is unlikely that a malignant lesion will develop. Low risk HPV types usually trigger growths of tissue that may appear in any part of the body. These are flat warts, plantar warts, genital warts (condylomas) and other benign diseases. If a low-risk HPV infected person has a strong immune system warts may never appear and HPV infection may go away on its own.

When a high-risk HPV type is present, the risk of cancerous lesions increases. High-risk HPV types are detected in more than 90% of patients with cervical cancer which is one of the most prevalent malignant diseases among women all over the world. High-risk HPV types usually infect the genital area where they can initiate abnormal cell changes. If these changes are not treated over a long period, they can lead to dysplasia, a precancerous condition, and then to cancer.  

In different countries cervical cancer prevention programs are organized because of a high prevalence of cervical cancer. These programs include cervical smears (Pap test) screening which helps to detect cervical abnormalities and signs of HPV infection, the main risk factor for cervical cancer. The Pap test can’t identify the HPV type, it can only find HPV-associated changes in cells. If cervical abnormalities are found in a smear (abnormal Pap smear), it is recommended to undergo an HPV DNA test.

HPV DNA test is able to determine if a high-risk HPV type is present, and thus helps doctors evaluate risk for cancer and better define management of patients with abnormal Pap smear results. Even if only slight abnormal cell changes are found, women infected by high-risk HPV type require a closer follow-up.

Women with cervical HPV-related lesions may need surgical removal of affected areas. Doctors may use cryotherapy, laser, electroexcision or cold knife conisation to treat HPV-induced diseases. It is important to remember that surgery only removes lesions, but the virus may remain in the body. That is why there is a risk that after surgical removal lesions caused by high-risk HPV type may reoccur.

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Cervical Dysplasia
Genital Warts
Plantar Warts
Genital Herpes
Oral Herpes
Other Conditions

Dr. Joe Glickman, Jr., M.D.

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