Last Updated on July 29, 2021 by Stacy Sampson, DO
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) STI/STD Brief
These briefs are intended to give readers (specifically those who weren’t aware many of these STIs/STDs existed) an overview of each STI/STD, their commonality, treatment options, and diagnostic tests available.
This information is by no means all-encompassing and The STI Project encourages using these briefs as primers and then further delving into the resources section when subsequent questions arise.
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Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Symptoms, Test & Treatment
Common? Very common – about half of all people with penises and more than 3 out of 4 all people with vulvas/vaginas contract the human papillomavirus at some point in their lives. Most people don’t know it. Around 5.5 million people contract it in the U.S. annually
Symptoms Although most HPV infections go away within 8 to 13 months, some will not. Human papillomavirus infections that do not go away can “hide” in the body for years and not be detected. There aren’t many noticeable symptoms for high-risk strains of the virus in people with vulvas/vagins or penises. Most people feel fine even when they have cell changes that are caused by the human papillomavirus.
Cure? No cure – There is currently no treatment to cure the human papillomavirus itself. Most of the infections are harmless, do not require treatment, and go away by themselves. Treatment is available for the abnormal cell changes in the cervix that are caused by the human papillomavirus. Common treatments include colposcopy, cryotherapy, and LEEP.
Bacterial/Viral/ Fungal/Parasitic Viral
Test For people with vulvas/vaginas – pap tests looking for abnormal changes in the cervix due to the infection, and in certain situations, HPV tests administered to those cells.
For people with penises, there is no test.
Life-Threatening? Sometimes – high-risk types of genital human papillomavirus can cause cancer of the cervix, vagina, vulva, anus, penis, and throat
- How to Not Give an Eff about Having an STI
- Think You Might Have an STI/STD?
- HPV (Human Papillomavirus) In-Depth
- Detailed HPV Symptoms
- HPV – Resources, Info, and Personal Experiences
- HPV Vaccine
- Looking for STI testing centers, human papillomavirus treatment, STI hotlines, or STI blogs and forums?
- Would you like to read stories about people living with an STI/STD?
- Carpén, Timo, et al. “Presenting symptoms and clinical findings in HPV-positive and HPV-negative oropharyngeal cancer patients.” Acta oto-laryngologica 138.5 (2018): 513-518.
- Suzuki, Sadao, and Akihiro Hosono. “No association between HPV vaccine and reported post-vaccination symptoms in Japanese young women: results of the Nagoya study.” Papillomavirus Research 5 (2018): 96-103.
- Nadarzynski, Tom, et al. “Perceptions of HPV and attitudes towards HPV vaccination amongst men who have sex with men: A qualitative analysis.” British journal of health psychology 22.2 (2017): 345-361.
- Martínez-Lavín, Manuel, Laura-Aline Martínez-Martínez, and Paola Reyes-Loyola. “HPV vaccination syndrome. A questionnaire-based study.” Clinical rheumatology 34.11 (2015): 1981-1983.
- León-Maldonado, Leith, et al. “Perceptions and experiences of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and testing among low-income Mexican women.” PloS one 11.5 (2016): e0153367.
- Koliopoulos, George, et al. “Cytology versus HPV testing for cervical cancer screening in the general population.” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 8 (2017).
- Ogilvie, Gina Suzanne, et al. “Effect of screening with primary cervical HPV testing vs cytology testing on high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia at 48 months: the HPV FOCAL randomized clinical trial.” Jama 320.1 (2018): 43-52.
- Goodman, Annekathryn. “HPV testing as a screen for cervical cancer.” BMJ: British Medical Journal 350 (2015): h2372.
- Kuhn, Louise, and Lynette Denny. “The time is now to implement HPV testing for primary screening in low resource settings.” Preventive medicine 98 (2017): 42-44.
- Bishop, Justin A., et al. “HPV-related squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck: an update on testing in routine pathology practice.” Seminars in diagnostic pathology. Vol. 32. No. 5. WB Saunders, 2015.
- Quake, Stephen R., and Jianbin Wang. “Compositions and methods for cell targeted hpv treatment.” U.S. Patent Application No. 15/166,936.
- Mirghani, H., et al. “Treatment de‐escalation in HPV‐positive oropharyngeal carcinoma: ongoing trials, critical issues and perspectives.” International journal of cancer 136.7 (2015): 1494-1503.
- Wang, Marilene B., et al. “HPV-positive oropharyngeal carcinoma: a systematic review of treatment and prognosis.” Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery 153.5 (2015): 758-769.
- Stich, Maximilian, et al. “5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine (DAC) treatment downregulates the HPV E6 and E7 oncogene expression and blocks neoplastic growth of HPV-associated cancer cells.” Oncotarget 8.32 (2017): 52104.
- Hildesheim, Allan, et al. “Impact of human papillomavirus (HPV) 16 and 18 vaccination on prevalent infections and rates of cervical lesions after excisional treatment.” American journal of obstetrics and gynecology 215.2 (2016): 212-e1.
- Grandahl, Maria, et al. “School-based intervention for the prevention of HPV among adolescents: a cluster randomised controlled study.” BMJ open 6.1 (2016): e009875.
- Stanley, Margaret, and Mario Poljak. “Prospects for the new HPV Prevention and Control Board.” Papillomavirus Research 3 (2017): 97.
- Bosch, F. Xavier, et al. “HPV-FASTER: broadening the scope for prevention of HPV-related cancer.” Nature reviews Clinical oncology 13.2 (2016): 119.
- Dilley, Sarah E., et al. “Abstract C92: A diagnostic review of barriers to and opportunities for improving HPV vaccination in Alabama.” (2018): C92-C92.
- Gervais, Frédéric, et al. “Systematic review of cost-effectiveness analyses for combinations of prevention strategies against human papillomavirus (HPV) infection: a general trend.” BMC public health 17.1 (2017): 283.
- Kero, Katja, and Jaana Rautava. “HPV infections in heterosexual couples: mechanisms and covariates of virus transmission.” Acta cytologica 63.2 (2019): 143-147.
- Giuliano, Anna R., et al. “EUROGIN 2014 roadmap: Differences in HPV infection natural history, transmission, and HPV-related cancer incidence by gender and anatomic site of infection.” International journal of cancer. Journal international du cancer 136.12 (2015): 2752.
- Guenat, David, et al. “Exosomes and other extracellular vesicles in HPV transmission and carcinogenesis.” Viruses 9.8 (2017): 211.
- Zouridis, Andreas, et al. “Intrauterine HPV transmission: a systematic review of the literature.” Archives of gynecology and obstetrics 298.1 (2018): 35-44.
- Louvanto, Karolina, et al. “Breast milk is a potential vehicle for human papillomavirus transmission to oral mucosa of the spouse.” The Pediatric infectious disease journal 36.7 (2017): 627-630.