A common sexually-transmitted infection, HPV or human papillomavirus can lead to certain cancers.
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Rebecca Brayton: More than 80% of American women will contract the strain of this STI by age 50. Hi, I’m Rebecca Brayton and welcome to WatchMojo.com and today, we’ll be learning more about the causes and effects of HPV or human papillomavirus. Let’s start with the basics. What is HPV? Dr. Pierre-Paul Tellier: HPV is human papillomavirus. This virus has caused a variety of changes in the body. This virus is also very fussy. They don’t like to grow anywhere and everywhere in the body so for example, HPV is involved in the production of common warts or plantar warts over those HPV viruses that cause common warts do not like to grow in the genitals. And then, there’s HPV that grows in mucus membranes of the genitals to throat and these are the ones that we talk and in years – these ones that were concerned about primarily. It’s obviously associated with sexual contact because we’re talking about the variety of HPV that grows in mucus secretions or the mucous membranes but it’s not necessarily something where penetration is required. Rebecca Brayton: Is this considered an STD or STI and what is the difference between those two things? Dr. Pierre-Paul Tellier: An STI is essentially an infection. The reason the word is used is basically because as we HPV for example, a lot of people may carry the virus but not necessarily manifesting these symptoms whereas the disease is something that is got to set a symptoms, set of presentation of signs that one sees, things that you usually visually, or that you could feel. Rebecca Brayton: What are some signs and symptoms that we should be in the look out for? Dr. Pierre-Paul Tellier: The major symptoms in fact, no symptom. The things that we can see are genital warts which are manifested in the genital area obviously but it can also be picked up in the throat so you could sometimes see genital warts in the throat. You can see changes in the cervix in women during the Pap smear and those would be abnormal cells that you would pick up. Rebecca Brayton: What are the short and long-term effects of this illness? Dr. Pierre-Paul Tellier: When people find out they have got HPV because of the stigma that’s associated with the STI’s, there’s a lot of anger, there’s a lot of tears, there’s a lot of people being upset and that’s what mostly we have to deal with when it occurs. Condyloma warts, you will get rid off basically because again it’s annoying because it’s concrete with mind that there’s an STI and it upsets people. More long-term changes are cancer, sop cancer of the cervix in women, cancer of the penis, cancer of the anus, and cancer of the throat. Rebecca Brayton: If you can track the HPV do you have it forever? Dr. Pierre-Paul Tellier: The virus seems to vanish in most cases. Now does that mean it’s completely gone or that’s wealthy and then the test can’t pick it up, that we don’t really know yet. After three to six months, those changes revert back to normal. So there seems to be a potential for the body or the virus to disappear. This body essentially rids itself of it. Does it actively do that? It’s hard to know. Rebecca Brayton: Thank you very much. Dr. Pierre-Paul Tellier: You’re welcome.