Human Papilloma Virus

WHAT IS THAT

Human Papillomavirus (HPV Test) infection is common and transmitted mainly sexually. Although it is usually transitory and without obvious symptoms, it sometimes manifests through benign skin and mucous lesions.

In rarer cases, the immune system cannot defeat the virus rapidly. HPV can cause the onset of tumour forms such as cervical cancer. Today, the only form of neoplasm recognized as being due to an infection.

Virus Is sneaky

In chronic infection, the tumour lesion generally develops within 7-15 years of infection.

Of the 12 strains classified as high risk, two (HPV 16 and 18) proved to be mainly responsible for the tumour growth of the infection. Among the low-risk strains, which typically cause genital lesions with a lower risk of malignant transformation, serotypes 6 and 11 alone are responsible for about 90% of genital warts.

SYMPTOMS

The symptoms caused by HPV infection Tests depend only on the infecting virus serotype and the lesions that develop subsequently.

In the low-risk serotypes, the infection appears with the appearance of warts. And usually in the genital area on the cervix, vulva, vagina, perineum or anus, or the nose, mouth or larynx.

Occasionally, these lesions can manifest as growths, even a few centimetres large, with an appearance similar to a rooster’s comb; in these cases, we speak of condylomata acuminate. Often harmless, warts can sometimes cause mild itching, discomfort and pain.

The presence of warts or warts is common and should not be associated with a greater risk of tumour onset.

Regarding high-risk serotypes, infections caused by these viruses give rise to subclinical manifestations that are not visible to the naked eye but are appreciable through specific tests.

The symptoms of cervical disease can be completely absent or so mild and subtle that they go completely unnoticed.

As cervical cancer progresses, the chances of cure decrease. The typical symptoms of the disease may appear. Bleeding after sexual intercourse and slight pain during sexual intercourse, watery or bloody vaginal discharge. And sometimes with an unpleasant odour and pain in the pelvic region. And vaginal bleeding outside the menstrual period or after menopause.

Other cancers related to HPV infection can also develop in the absence of signs or symptoms, which typically arise only when they reach an advanced stage that is difficult to treat.

DIAGNOSIS

Screening programs (with Pap or HPV Lab test) are the basic strategy for the early identification of HPV lesions (secondary prevention).

The most used tool today is the Pap test.

It is the main tool for safeguarding the health of the cervix.

This type of STD screening Test falls within the Essential Levels of Assistance. Your local health authority usually sends a letter inviting you to participate free of charge with information on the appointment and how the test is carried out.

The search provides a further possibility of diagnosis for human papillomavirus DNA. A test capable of detecting the presence of oncogenic virus DNA (i.e., responsible for the tumour’s onset) in the uterine cervix’s tissues.

The objective and methods are identical to those of the Pap.

HPV Home Testing positive does not necessarily mean that a woman will develop cancer over time.

Instead, it allows the doctor to carry out all the necessary checks. These are to highlight the presence of an alteration in the cervix and subject the patient to further tests scheduled over time to detect the formation of any anomaly in advance.

Most HPV infections are transient,

The immune system kills the virus before developing a pathogenic effect.

60-90% of HPV infections, including those from high-risk serotypes, resolve spontaneously within 1-2 years of infection, but it is best to monitor if this happens.

In some Italian regions, the HPV DNA test has been introduced as a primary screening tool. It is replacing the Pap STD test, making Italy one of the first countries committed to updating primary exams on this front.

There are many HPV tests on the market, but only some are considered valid, especially if they are used for screening.

In case of anomalies, we proceed with an examination. This allows us to identify any alterations in the uterine cervix by looking at the tissues. If necessary, targeted biopsies are also carried out here to obtain more checking.

HOW IT IS TREATED

Currently, there are no therapies to beat the virus from the body. In cases where the infection does not regress spontaneously, warts and warts can be treated. Creams with antiviral or immunomodulatory action (which modify the immune response) are generally very effective.

Alternatively, it is possible to proceed with local surgical treatments to remove the growths, such as laser therapy, diathermocoagulation or cryotherapy.

PREVENTION

The 9-valent vaccine has been available since 2017, further protection against oncogenic viral classes. The National Vaccine Prevention Plan has included anti-HPV vaccination Tests in the vaccination calendar for all (female and male) starting from twelve.

Given that the transmission of HPV infection occurs mainly through sexual contact. Vaccination of the male population should increase the STD Panel Tests. Both are for the protection of males and females, and they are also due to reduced circulation of the viruses.

There are also great dreams for the defeat of HPV-related oral cancers, often caused by HPV type 16.

No screening is planned for these increasing tumours, and vaccines will be a great opportunity for protection.

The ideal condition is to protect patients who have not yet begun sexual activity.

The protection offered is significantly lower where the subject has already come into contact with one of the strains against which the vaccine is directed.

Beyond this, the results of studies report vaccines (around 98%). In addition to efficacy, a high level of safety completes the vaccination profile.

HOW WIDESPREAD IS IT

The spread of HPV is very wide. It is estimated that around 80% of sexually active women contract the infection at least once in their lives. It is also common in young women between 25 and 35 years old. And that around 50% are in contact with a “high-risk” strain.

Therefore, it is a common event that, in most cases, fixes itself but which, in rarer cases, can evolve into severe tumour forms.