Thursday, June 27, 2013
Essay on Human Papilloma Virus
Essay on Human Papilloma Virus
Every year in the United States, the number of the people especially teenagers who contract different kinds of sexually transmitted diseases is getting high. Based on the American Social Health Association, the most prevalent STD in the United States today is the group of viruses known as Human papillomavirus (HPV) (Carter, 2001). It is an infection that is seen as a significant cause of illness and death of the young population. It is also considered as the most costly sexual transmitted disease in terms of direct medical expenses.
Human papillomavirus is a member of the Papillomaviridae family. It is a double-stranded DNA virus. HPV was discovered by Francis Rous during 1935 when he found out in his experiment that it could cause skin cancer on the rabbits that are infected by it. There are various papilloma viruses and almost all birds and mammals can be affected by it. Today, there are more than 100 human papillomaviruses that have been recognized (Dizon and Krychman, 2010). HPV is defined as sexually transmitted virus that can be passed through genital contact such as vaginal and anal sex and can also be passed by skin to skin contact. Aside from affecting the skin, HPV can also affect other moist membranes that line the bod, mouth, throat, feet, fingers, cervix and anus. Most of the HPV types known cause no symptoms to humans. Most of the time, the virus goes away before it cause any health risk and some people who actually been infected with it are not even aware that they have it. There are also those HPV types that can cause warts (genital wats) and those few that can cause for the risk of developing cancer just like cervical and throat cancer.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2010), any person who had genital contact with another person can have the risk of acquiring HPV. Men and women can equally get it and pass it on without knowing it. HPV is acquired through direct contact and because of this; most people are infected at young ages. Chances of getting HPV become higher when a person had sex at an early age, if he or she has many sexual partners and if his or her partner has had many sexual partners before. There might not be any signs for HPV sometimes and a person can have HPV even if it was years ago since he or she had sex.
Human papillomavirus is most commonly passed on through genital contact and most often through vaginal and anal sex. It can also be passed on through oral sex. Further, sexual intercourse is not required for the infection to be passed on from one person to another. HPV can also be passed through skin to skin contact. HPV can be passed on between straight and same-sex partners equally. In very rare conditions, a pregnant woman that is affected by genital HPV can also pass the infection on to her baby during the birth delivery.
Most of HPV types cause poses no health problems to people that have them. Most of these infections usually go away by themselves in a span of 2 years. Still, there are those types that can persist and cause varieties of serious health problems to people who have them. Some of the potential health problems that can be caused by human papilloma virus include genital warts, cervical cancer, recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (warts in throat), and genital cancers (penis, vagina, vulva and anus cancer)
There is no known cure for the human papilloma virus itself but there are available treatments for the health problems that it causes such as treatments for genital warts, cervical cancer and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis. Instead of suffering the consequences of HPV infection, it is always better to prevent it. There are some ways which you can do in order to prevent being infected from HPV. There are the two vaccines that are against some types of HPV and you can avail it from medical clinics. Also it is advisable to limit the number of sexual partners and to use condoms to reduce the risk of infection whenever you will have vaginal, anal or oral sex.
Carter, E. (2001). Everything You Need to Know About Human Papillomavirus. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group Inc.
Dizon, D.S. & Krychman (2011). Questions and Answers About Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Ontario: Jones and Barlett Publishers Canada.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2010). HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). Retrieved February 25, 2013 from http://books.google.com.ph/books?id=2Py_BLXupVAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=what+is+human+papillomavirus&hl=en&sa=X&ei=2gErUd6eFKWImQWo1oDgCA&redir_esc=y