Human Papilloma Virus
What is genital HPV infection?
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.
What are the symptoms and potential consequences of HPV?
Most people with HPV do not develop symptoms or health problems. But sometimes, certain types of HPV can cause genital 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 cancer.
How do people get genital HPV infections?
Genital HPV is passed on through genital contact, most often during vaginal and anal sex. A person can have HPV even if years have passed since he or she had sex. Most infected persons do not realize they are infected or that they are passing the virus to a sex partner.
How does HPV cause genital warts and cancer?
HPV can cause normal cells on infected skin or mucous membranes to turn abnormal. Most of the time, you cannot see or feel these cell changes. In most cases, the body fights off HPV naturally and the infected cells then go back to normal.
If a high-risk HPV infection is not cleared by the immune system, it can linger for many years and turn abnormal cells into cancer over time. About 10% of women with high-risk HPV on their cervix will develop long-lasting HPV infections that put them at risk for cervical cancer. Similarly, when high-risk HPV lingers and infects the cells of the penis, anus, vulva, or vagina, it can cause cancer in those areas. But these cancers are much less common than cervical cancer.
How common are HPV and related diseases?
HPV infection. Approximately 20 million Americans are currently infected with HPV, and another 6.2 million people become newly infected each year. At least 50% of sexually active men and women acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives.
Certain populations may be at higher risk for HPV-related cancers, such as gay and bisexual men, and individuals with weak immune systems (including those who have HIV/AIDS).
How can people prevent HPV?
A vaccine can now protect females from the four types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers and genital warts. The vaccine is recommended for 11 and 12 year-old girls. It is also recommended for girls and women age 13 through 26 who have not yet been vaccinated or completed the vaccine series.
How can people prevent HPV-related diseases?
There are important steps girls and women can take to prevent cervical cancer. The HPV vaccine can protect against most cervical cancers (see above). Cervical cancer can also be prevented with routine cervical cancer screening and follow-up of abnormal results. The Pap test can identify abnormal or pre-cancerous changes in the cervix so that they can be removed before cancer develops. An HPV DNA test, which can find high-risk HPV on a woman’s cervix, may also be used with a Pap test in certain cases. The HPV test can help healthcare professionals decide if more tests or treatment are needed. Even women who got the vaccine when they were younger need regular cervical cancer screening because the vaccine does not protect against all cervical cancers.
Is there a test for HPV?
The HPV test on the market is only used as part of cervical cancer screening. There is no general test for men or women to check one’s overall HPV status. HPV usually goes away on its own, without causing health problems. So an HPV infection that is found today will most likely not be there a year or two from now. For this reason, there is no need to be tested just to find out if you have HPV now. However, you should get tested for signs of disease that HPV can cause, such as cervical cancer.
Cervical cell changes (early signs of cervical cancer) can be identified by routine Pap tests. The HPV test can identify high-risk HPV types on a woman’s cervix, which can cause cervical cell changes and cancer.
As noted above, there is currently no approved test to find HPV or related cancers in men. But HPV is very common and HPV-related cancers are very rare in men.
Products and Resources – Rx
General Adult Urology
BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) Drugs
- FLOMAX – Tamsulosin
- AVODART – Dutasteride
- JALYN – Dutasteride and Tamsulosin HCI
- RAPAFLO – Silodosin
- ANDROGEL – Testosterone Gel
- AXIRON – Testosterone Topical Solution
- FORTESTA – Testosterone Gel
- TESTIM – Testosterone Gel
Minimally Invasive Technologies for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
- CoreTherm – Thermal Therapy for BPH
- Prolieve – A technology that treats the symptoms of enlarged prostate (or BPH) in men
- TherMatrx – Office Thermo Therapy: The Safe and Effective Office-Based Solution for BPH
- GreenLight – Laser Therapy for the Treatment of BPH