Approximately 20 million Americans are sex with hpv infected with HPV. HPV infection at some time in their life. What are the symptoms of HPV?
In most cases there are no symptoms of HPV. Many people have HPV and do not know it. Some people will experience genital warts on the penis, scrotum, labia, vagina, cervix, or anus. Can having HPV lead to other problems? Most people that are infected with HPV feel fine and do not even know they are infected. HPV can cause genital warts which may return after treatment.
HPV may cause pre-cancerous cells on the cervix resulting in abnormal Pap smears. It may also lead to cancer of the cervix, labia, anus, or penis. There is no cure for HPV, which means that once you contract it, it can be a life-long infection. The good news is that the body’s natural immune system appears to get rid of the infection.
However, this may take months to years. Even though there are no visible symptoms, HPV may still be transmitted to another person. HPV is transmitted by genital skin-to-skin contact, which in most cases is through sexual activity including oral, anal, and vaginal intercourse. HPV may be transmitted even if someone does not exhibit symptoms. HPV may be diagnosed by your health care provider.
The liquid-based Pap test is significantly more effective for detecting abnormal cervical cells than the conventional Pap smear. For the liquid-based Pap test, your health care provider will put the collected cells into liquid, rather than smearing them onto a slide. This allows more cells to be preserved and minimizes blood, mucus, and inflammation. Most health care providers agree that the liquid-based Pap test is advised for women who have or are at risk of contracting HPV. In 2003, the FDA approved a screening test that can be done in conjunction with a Pap test to determine if you have the HPV virus.