What is HPV?

HPV also known as "Human Papilloma Virus" have over 100 groups related to them. Each group is giving a number depending on what is known as their HPV type. They got the name papilloma because some of types of HPV's can cause warts or papillomas, which are non-cancerous tumors. Papilloma viruses are attracted to squamous epithelical in the body. These kind of cells are thin and flat, that are found on the surface of the skin. Places like, the cervix, vagina, anus, vulva, the head of the penis, the mouth, and throat. The virus will not grow in other parts of the body.

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Picture of HPV.

How Common Is HPV?

HPV is a very common virus. Some medical professionals think that HPV is as common as the common cold virus. Within a year in the United States over 6 million people, both men and women get this virus. Most of infections occur in people between 15 and 25 years of age.

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Is HPV A STD?


Yes HPV is a STD. This virus infects the mucous membranes. Most of the times you cannot see HPV. Most people that are infected do not even know they are. This disease can give you even more problems with health like; genital warts, cervical cancer, and different types of HPV related cancers.
Some factors of getting HPV are:
- having too many sex partners
- being younger then 25
- starting to have sexul intercourse at age 16 or younger
- having a partner who has had several different sex partners

Even a person that has only had one sex partner can still get HPV if that partner already has the virus.

Structure


The HPV virus are small non-enveloped icosahedral virus and they have a circular double stranded DNA genome. The E6 and E7 the most common HPV, gene products bind to p53 and Rh-1 proteins respectively, thus leading to removal of tumor suppressor gene function. When the tumor suppressor gene can't function anymore it makes it harder for the body to fight against tumors.

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History


In the United States HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease. The American Social Health Association reports that estimates that 75-80% of Americans will get HPV at least once in their lifetime. By the age of 50 more the 80% of women will have had HPV.
Dr. Harald zur Hausen of the German Cancer research won a Nobel Prize for discovering that they Human Papilloma Virus causes cancer.