Some types of HPV are associated with tumors of the genital tract including, notably, cancer of the cervix.
Of the more than 100 types of HPVs, over 30 types can be passed from one person to another through sexual contact.
Most genital HPV infections come and go over the course of a few years; however, sometimes HPV infection may persist for many years, with or without causing cellular abnormalities.
The majority of HPVs produce warts on the hands, fingers, and even the face. Most of these viruses are innocuous, causing nothing more than cosmetic concerns. HPVs also can cause painful plantar warts; for example on the soles of the feet.
Several types of HPV, however, are confined primarily to the moist skin of the genitals, producing genital warts and increasing the risk for cancer of the cervix.
The most common forms of human papilloma viruses cause cervical cancer
In the United States, cervical carcinoma was once a leading cause of death for women under the age of sixty. Routine Pap smear testing by gynecologists have dramatically reduced the numbers because they are able to catch the pre-cancerous changes HPV causes in cervical cells at an early stage.
- Internationally, most of the world's women have no access to routine gynecological care and are rarely screened for any type of women's health problem.
- One result is that cervical carcinoma annually kills some 300,000 women worldwide.
- HPV is not solely transmitted through sexual contact.
- It is considerably more contagious than HIV, syphilis or gonorrhea, and can be spread through handshakes, toilet seats, and childbirth; if the transmitting individual has genital warts, which is the most common visual evidence of HPV infection.
- Human papilloma virus is so strong that it can not be blocked 100 percent even by proper condom use.
- Even married, monogamous women get infected with HPV, and can contract terminal cancer.
- Science and humanity should guide preventive policies; such as, with immunization vaccines, not by wishful thinking and moral absolutism.