HPV - Human Papilloma Virus
In June 2006, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to
recommend the first vaccine developed to preventcervical
cancer and other diseases in females caused by certain types of genital
human papillomavirus (HPV). The vaccine,
Gardasil, protects against fourSTDHPV types, which together cause 70% of cervical cancers
and 90% ofgenital warts.The National Cancer Institute estimates 3,870 U.S. women
will die from cervicalcancer and
more than 11,000 women will contract the disease this year alone. The Human papillomavirus
(HPV), the most commonly contracted
of sexually transmitted diseases, causes 99 percent of allcervical
cancer cases. Estimates say 80 percent of sexually active women
will contract one strain ofHPV by the age of 50.
There has been dramatic progress in understanding the role of human papillomavirus
(HPV) in the aetiology
of cervical cancer (Bosch and de Sanjos, 2003). Human papillomavirus testing is likely
to play a part in screening for cervical abnormalities (Cuzick et al, 2006).
Prophylactic HPV vaccination has been shown
to be highly effective at preventing infection (Villa et al, 2005), and is likely to be
introduced in the United Kingdom in the near future.
HPV types 6 and 11 cause most genital warts. Warts may appear within
several weeks or months after sexual contact with a person who has HPV, or they may
never appear. HPVs may also cause flat, abnormal growths in the genital area and on the cervix.
Again, HPV infections often do not cause any symptoms.
HPV - the human papilloma virus - is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the world. In
the United States alone, an estimated 20 million people have genital HPV, and more
than five million people contract it each year. Still, most people don't know the first thing
about HPV - including how certain types of it relate
warts and other types of it relate
to cervical cancer.
Merck says Gardasil is showing promise of protecting boys from
genital, penile and rectal warts. Experts say among gay men, cancer of the anus is becoming almost as common
as cervical cancer, and some clinics are starting to do
regular HPV smears in
men. A cervical Pap smear is used to detect
cellular abnormalities. This allows targeted surgical removal of condylomatous and/or potentially
precancerous lesions prior to the development of invasive cervical cancer. Although the
widespread use of Pap testing has reduced the incidence and lethality of cervical cancer in developed countries, the disease still kills several hundred thousand women per
year worldwide. A recently approved HPV vaccine, Gardasil, that
blocks initial infection with four of the most common sexually transmitted HPV types
may lead to further decreases in the incidence of HPV-induced
Some facts to consider: HPV is the
leading cause of cervical
cancer in women, among the top cancer-killers
of women. If boys could be vaccinated, the spread of the virus would slow considerably, according to public
health officials. According to the CDC, 50 percent of sexually active men and women acquire
genital HPV infection at some point in their lives. Gardasil protects girls and
women against four of the dozens of strains of human, or HPV, two of which are
responsible for 70 percent of cervical
cancer cases. The other two types account for
90 percent of genital
warts, which affect both men and
In many cases, HPV produces no symptoms. When
they do occur, the most common symptom is the presence of warts in the genital area. Signs of infection can appear
weeks, months, or even years after infection with the virus.
The findings are important because
anal HPV infection is strongly linked with anal cancer, a rare but increasing disease that
famously afflicted 1970s superstar Farrah Fawcett in 2006. The cause of Fawcett's cancer isn't known,
according to media reports.
Some people mistakenly believe
warts lead to cancer. The truth is,
while genital warts can be annoying, they do not cause cancer. However, a few other kinds
of genital HPV infections may.
Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most
common sexually transmitted infection (STI). The virus infects the skin and mucous membranes. There are more than
40 HPV types that can infect the genital areas of men and women, including
the skin of the penis, vulva (area outside the vagina), and anus, and the linings of the vagina, cervix, and
rectum. You cannot see HPV. Most people who become
infected with HPV do not even know they have it.
Genital HPV is the most common sexual
transmitted infection in the United States. About 6.2 million Americans will get infected with
genital HPV this year. According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC), 11% of American women do not have
cancer screenings; women who do not
have cervical cancer screenings on a regular basis dramatically increase their chances of
cancer. About 14,000 women in the United States
are diagnosed with cervical
cancer disease each year, and more than 3,900
women die in the United States each year from this disease.
Most people with HPV do not develop symptoms or
health problems. But sometimes, certain types of HPV can
causegenital warts in men and women. Other HPV types
can cause cervical
cancer and other less common cancers, such as
cancers of the vulva, vagina, anus, and penis. The types of HPV that can
cause genital warts are not the same as the types that can cause
HPV and genital warts are usually
spread by direct, skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, anal or oral sex with a partner who already has the
virus. HPV can infect any person who is sexually
A person may not know right away-or even ever-if they have
been infected by HPV. Genital
warts do not always appear right away. And many
people who get HPV never develop warts or any cervical or anal cell changes. It's different
for each person.
Researchers at NCI and other sites are studying how HPVs cause
precancerous changes in normal cells and how these changes can be prevented. They are using
non-infectious HPV-like particles
created in the laboratory as preventive vaccines
against the viruses. Investigators are conducting clinical trials to test vaccines for certain papillomaviruses,
such as HPV-16
and HPV-18, which are known to be particularly high-risk for the development
of cervical cancer. It is hoped that a vaccine will be available within 10 years to prevent
the most common HPV infections.
Nevertheless, it's possible that new vaccines that target
cervical HPV also will help decrease anal cancer. The only available vaccine,
manufactured by Merck & Co., protects against the four strains of HPV that
cause most cases of cervical
cancer and genital warts.
Human papillomavirus (pronounced pap-ih-lo-ma-vye-rus) is also
called HPV. It is a virus that includes more than 100 types, over 30 of which are sexually transmitted. The
types of HPV that infect the genital area are known as
genital HPV. Most sexually active people will have HPV at some
point in their lives, though most will never know it because it usually has no symptoms and goes away on its
own. Genital HPV types are either low-risk or high-risk types. This does not have to
do with the risk of getting the infection. It is about the risk of getting cervical cancer.
On the basis of the simple
question about awareness of STD and HPV that was asked at the
end of the interview (the term 'HPV' was not used previously by
the interviewer), a quarter of participants (24.2%, n=388) said they were aware
of HPV. There were some age differences, with 29% of respondents who were in
the cervical cancer screening age (25-64 years) reporting awareness
of HPV compared with only 15% aged 16-24 years or 65 and over. Differences
in HPV and STD awareness by ethnic group were not
significant, but awareness was lower in respondents with lower levels of education and