Human Papilloma Virus
HPV is a DNA virus which infects the skin and mucosa of men and animals.
Direct skin or mucosal contact with HPV lesions is required to transfer the virus.
However, simple transfer of the virus from person to person is usually not capable of causing inflammation. There must be friction and micro-injuries occur to penetrate the virus into the epithelium. For this reason, sexual intercourse (vaginal or anal) is the easiest way to transmit for HPV.
Other types of sexual intercourse (genital friction by hand or between them, oral-genital contact) can lead to inflammation if there are scratches in the epithelium and the immune system does not work well, but rarer transmission modes are considered.
Diagnosis of HPV is done with the Papanicolaou Test and virus typing with Thin Prep, which we reveals the viral subtype and if there is a co-infection.
Treatment depends on the extent of the damage. If it is only for warts, a laser exception is recommended. For cervical lesions depending on severity the treatment can be from simple monitoring to surgery (conical cervical excision).
HPV and Vaccination
Today we have 2 vaccines (Gardasil and Cervarix) that prevent contamination from the most dangerous carcinogenic types of HPV.
Vaccination by the generation of protective antibodies protects against types 16 and 18 by 100% the two most likely to produce HPV types of cancer responsible for a total of 71% of cancer cases. Gardasil includes, in addition to 16 and 18, non-oncogene types 6 and 11 (those causing the warts) and appears to protect well while Cervarix is included types 16 and 18. Three doses are required at 2 and 4 months.
In July 2009, a major clinical trial was announced that Gardasil prevents a total of five oncogenes HPV virus strains except for 16 and 18 thus providing additional protection against cancer by 11-16%. In August 2010 the European authorities and EOF adopted a new and expanded package leaflet for Gardasil with evidence of protection against the five most common oncogenic types of HPV.