Most people who have human papillomavirus (HPV) do not have symptoms and are not aware they have it. It can sometimes cause other health problems, and these can be signs of an HPV infection. Some people find out they have HPV when they develop genital warts, women may discover it as a result of an abnormal Pap test, and others may not know until they develop more serious conditions, such as cervical and other forms of cancer. It is important to note that different strains of HPV cause different symptoms and outcomes.
Strains of HPV
There are over 100 types of HPV, and at least 14 of them can cause cancer (these are known as high risk types). Types 16 and 18 are the cause of 70% of all pre-cancerous lesions and cervical cancers, while types 6 and 11 can cause genital warts.
Women and HPV
When symptoms arise, they are often in the form of:
- Genital warts.
- Abnormal cervical cells detected during a routine Pap smear.
Early detection, such as through Pap tests and HPV screenings, is important because treatment for abnormal cervical cells can occur before cervical cancer develops.
Here at Nurx™, we can supply HPV screening kits to detect the type of HPV that can lead to cervical cancer. We ship the kit to you, you do the test yourself in the privacy of your home, and you return the kit to our lab using the prepaid package.
Men and HPV
Men don’t always show symptoms of HPV infection, but in many cases, health problems occurring after infection can eventually be linked to HPV. The most common of these HPV-linked health problems in men are:
- Genital warts.
- Cancers of the penis, anus, or the back of the throat (oropharynx).
There is no HPV test for men. The only HPV tests available are for women to screen for risk of cervical cancer.