Human papillomavirus (HPV ) is a group of small DNA viruses divided into 2 families: those that affect the skin (warts and molluscum contagiosum) and those that affect the mucous membranes. There are more than a hundred different papillomaviruses.
A very common disease
HPV is widespread around the world. Papillomavirus infections are very common among young women. It is a widespread sexually transmitted disease.
Babies can be infected by their mothers at birth, but this is very rare.
Mucosal papillomavirus infections are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Papillomavirus infections usually last only a few months: the body's natural defenses are usually sufficient to eliminate them. Note that there is a test for gynecological use, to find out if the woman has a papillomavirus infection.
They can reach the cervix and create an infection
If the infection persists beyond 12 to 18 months, the lesion may become cancer.
Indeed, some types of human papillomavirus (HPV16 and HPV18) are responsible for about 70% of cervical cancers. But other HPV viruses cause HPV infection, such as 31, 33, 35, 39, 45 ... (but these are much less common)
In contrast, in uninfected women, the risk of developing cervical cancer is almost non-existent.Cervical cancer is the 2nd most common cancer in women in the world. In France, there are approximately 3, 000 new cases per year.
It should also be noted that about 1/3 of throat (oropharyngeal) cancers are due to infection with these oncogenic papillomaviruses.
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Read also :
> Learn more about HPV
> STDs: What you need to know
> Know how to detect an STD
> All about contraception