There are over 100 types of HPV. Out of these, typically, HPV can be categorised as high-risk HPV, i.e the virus that is cancer causing and low-risk HPV i.e non-cancer causing.

At least 14 of the 100 types are high-risk types. Let’s find out more about these and what they do to our body!

Are you REALLY at risk?

It’s important to note that most sexually active people end up contracting HPV at some point in their lives.

risk of hpv
hpv symptoms

Direct skin-to-skin contact

It’s spread mainly by direct skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, oral, or anal sexual activity

Human Papillomavirus & Safe Sex

Safe sex

While infections are more likely in people who have had many sex partners, you could be sexually involved with just one person, also use condoms, and still get HPV!

hpv virus

Oral Sex or Deep Kissing

It can spread through any kind of sexual activity such as oral sex or deep kissing.

Types Of HPV Virus

other ways of spreading

The virus can also be spread by genital contact without sex, but this is not common. While, oral-genital and hand-genital spread of some genital HPV types have been reported, there may be other ways to become infected with HPV that aren’t yet clear.

HIGH-risk hpv

Two most common high-risk HPV types are 16 and 18. Almost all cases of Cervical cancer in India are caused by HPV. The high risk strains of HPV (e.g., 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, 58) can lead to cervical, vaginal, vulvar and anal cancers in women.

low-risk hpv

The low-risk strains of HPV manifest in the form of painless genital warts and cause about 90% of genital warts in females and males. It is important to understand that HPV types that cause genital warts are not the same as the types that cause cancer.

How does your body react to these HPVs?

Woman
  • When your body’s immune system is unable to fight the high-risk HPV successfully, it stays over time. However, overtime and eventually it turns normal cells into abnormal cells to subsequently cause cancer.
  • Studies say that 10% of women with high-risk HPV on their cervix will develop long-lasting HPV infections that will expose them to the risk of contracting cervical cancer.
  • When high-risk HPV infects the other parts of the body such as the cells of the vulva, vagina or anus, it can lead to cell changes. These are called pre-cancers.
  • If not detected and removed in time, these pose the risk of turning cancerous.
Woman
  • HPV can induce ‘common’ warts that appear on the hands or feet, while the others, particularly the genital type HPV affect the genital area.
  • While these growths vary in size, shape, and number, they rarely lead to cancer.

low-risk hpv

The low-risk strains of HPV manifest in the form of painless genital warts and cause about 90% of genital warts in females and males. It is important to understand that HPV types that cause genital warts are not the same as the types that cause cancer.

How does your body react to these HPVs?

  • HPV can induce ‘common’ warts that appear on the hands or feet, while the others, particularly the genital type HPV affect the genital area.
  • While these growths vary in size, shape, and number, they rarely lead to cancer.

The Bright side in most cases - these infections get cleared up on their own.

In cases where the infection refuses to budge, especially when it’s caused by certain high-risk HPV types, the virus can lead to cancer overtype

HPV - Human Papillomavirus

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is meant for awareness only and not meant to substitute doctors advice. Please speak to your doctor for more information

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