HPV – Warts

What is HPV?

HPV or Human Papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted virus. It mainly occurs in young people who have an active sex life, however people of any age with an active sex life are likely to become infected.

To date, over 100 different types of HPV have been identified. Of those, about 40 can infect the genitals, while 14 of them have been identified as extremely dangerous.

The virus is associated with the appearance of condylomas acuminata, which appear on the skin in the genital area (external or internal) or in the anus. Warts are small papillomas, which look like ordinary moles and have the color of the skin. In any case, warts are benign tumors and do not portend cancer.

Nowadays HPV can be cured, but the patient can be infected again if he comes into contact with an infected person.

How is HPV transmitted?

HPV transmission takes place in a variety of ways, i.e. hematogenous, airborne, contact and sexual intercourse. The person carrying the virus can pass it on to their partner, often without knowing it. Many carriers are asymptomatic or may experience symptoms a long time after being infected. Smokers or people who have weak immune systems are more vulnerable to the virus. Finally, the virus under certain conditions can be transmitted from mother to newborn (vertical transmission) during childbirth.

Can HPV lead to cancer?

Some of the types of HPV are very dangerous (high-risk) and can cause cancer. HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer. In women, infection with the virus can even lead to vulvar cancer, which is a rare type of cancer that affects the genital area. For this very reason, because it is often not possible to know when you are infected with HPV, prevention is considered extremely important.

 What is the method of prevention?

The Obstetrician – Gynecologist Surgeon Dr. Papanikolaou G. Athanasios strongly recommends the New Vaccine for the Prevention of HPV. The new vaccine is called Gardasil 9, which, as its name suggests, is a nine-valent vaccine that provides prevention against nine types of HPV. The difference from the previous vaccine is that it can now provide protection against an additional 5 types of HPV. Compared to the previous vaccine of the same company that provided prevention for HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18, HPV types 31, 33, 45, 52 and 54 were added to this new vaccine.

 What does the new HPV Prevention Vaccine protect against?

This vaccine protects girls and women against cervical, vaginal, vulvar and cancer, as well as condylomas acuminata. The woman who will be vaccinated does not mean that she will not get from other types of HPV, nor that she is provided with full coverage for the HPV types for which she received the vaccine. In any case, it is a new medical method of prevention that has proven results.

In how many doses is the vaccine given?

The vaccine is indicated for girls or women from 9 to 26 years old, but does not mean that an older woman cannot be vaccinated. From 9 years to 14 years, the vaccine is administered in 2 doses, while for ages 15 -26 3 doses are required.

The Obstetrician – Gynecologist Surgeon Dr. Papanikolaou G. Athanasios is a member of the Hellenic Colposcopy Society and has years of experience in sexually transmitted diseases and aims at their successful prevention.


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