HPV, “Human Papilloma Virus”, generates an incurable sexually transmitted disease, which unfortunately increases the long list of infections of this type. Genital warts or Condylomatosis, as it is also called this disease, comes from ancient times and because it cannot be cured, it makes the number of carriers to be growing.
Currently, researchers have made known around 100 varieties of this virus, of which 30 are transmitted through sexual contact. Some of the 30 species are also responsible for mutations in the cells of the cervix, which can lead to cervical cancer (in the cervix).
Most commonly, the disease is transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse. Touching is also sufficient for infection, and therefore it is enough to intimately caress a person for the virus to be transmitted to the partner. Even a simple “scratching” of the injured area, so that later, with the same hand, touching another part of the body, causes the warts to contaminate various parts of the body, on the skin of the same person or their partner.
The virus can also be transmitted by inappropriately sterilized medical instruments, dental surgery, body piercing or tattoos made in inappropriate environments, sharing towels or sheets, not to mention borrowing intimate articles: swimwear, hosiery, pants etc.
Condylomas or warts are fleshy lesions that appear in the affected area, being outgrowths (swellings) with cauliflower or cockscomb looking. They can also be smooth, with no particular shape, reddish, pinkish or gray. With soft consistency, they occur most frequently in the genital or anal area. If they are very small, their presence is quite difficult to notice, which makes the infected person unable to know they have the disease and implicitly can infect others.
In women, warts make their presence felt both on the outside, on the pubic area, on the inner and outer labia or in the perianal area, and on the inside, where they can affect the cervix, vagina or urethra.
Men notice their presence on the skin of the penis, the foreskin and the testicles, up to the anal area, or also in the urethra or on the frenulum (elastic band of tissue under the glans penis).
Symptoms of the virus (specific manifestations), if any, are urethral secretions and discharge accompanied by itching, and there may be occasional pains or slight burning when urinating.
“Human Papilloma Virus” has an incubation period (the time that elapses from the moment of contamination until the first signs of disease) between two weeks and eight-nine months, with an average of ten weeks, and the warts and their multiplication occur in an interval of three to six months from the moment of the initial infection.
In women, the risk is very high. In most cases, the injuries found on the cervix or inside it can easily turn into cancerous lesions. The humid environment is favorable to them and, without an adequate treatment, they can advance quickly. It is preferable to be detected in time, before degenerating.
Experienced doctors can easily make the diagnosis by a simple clinical examination. If warts are observed at diagnosis, more extensive investigations are necessary, both to identify all the pathological aspects and to correctly determine the type of manifestation.
There is no treatment to definitively cure this disease. It can be intervened only in destroying the warts already appeared, by various methods (with the mention that they may reappear at any time). Selecting the method of eradication is up to the doctor and may consist of locally applying healing substances or destruction procedures by hot or by cold. Destruction by cold is called “cryotherapy” and by heat is called “electrocauterization”. It can also be used the destruction by electric arc or laser, which makes the scarring much faster. Regardless of the method, complete sexual abstinence is required throughout therapy. It should be noted that depending on their type, if the warts are treated properly, the risk of contamination of other persons is substantially reduced.
To prevent reinfection, all sexual partners should be treated simultaneously.
As in the case of any other sexually transmitted disease, in addition to the fact that the CONDOM and its use is undoubtedly the best means of prevention, paying close attention when choosing our sexual partners should also be an imperative objective.