Progression depends on the type of HPV strain and the unique characteristics of the infected person. The longer the virus is present, the greater the likelihood that cancer will develop. The good news is that more than 90% of HPV 16 and 18 infections go away within 6 to 18 months of initial exposure. Although HPV causes cervical cancer, the risk of developing cervical cancer from the virus is still quite low.
If a person develops symptoms, the time it takes for symptoms to appear may vary depending on the type of HPV. In the samples, he first identified the DNA of HPV strains 6 and 11, two common types of HPV that cause genital warts. While there are more than 100 types of HPV, only a dozen of them are associated with cervical disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HPV is very common and most cases of HPV go away and don't cause health problems.
Ultimately, Trimble says HPV is a weak infection, and is encouraged by the enormous immune responses that these therapeutic vaccines can trigger. While HPV can be transmitted during sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex, sex is not the only way the infection spreads. Since the HPV vaccine is a preventive measure against HPV, a sexually transmitted disease, the vaccine is intended for young children before they are sexually active to ensure immunity. Most men and women who have ever had sex get at least one type of genital HPV at some point in their lives.
Harald zur Hausen began his research on HPV after reviewing medical reports discussing cases of HPV genital warts that progressed to cervical cancer in female patients, and in 1976, published his hypothesis that HPV caused cervical cancer in the article Condylomas acuminata and genitals human Cancer. If you get HPV 6 or HPV 11, your doctor may prescribe medications such as imiquimod (Aldara, Zyclara) or podofilox (Condylox). However, knowing that you have a high-risk type of HPV will help you and your doctor develop a plan to reduce your risk of cervical cancer. HPV can be transmitted from one person to another through skin-to-skin contact, as is the case with sexual activity.
Despite the fact that HPV is common, many women will never know that they have contracted it, since cells infected with HPV are often removed from the cervix without intervention. Doctors treat symptoms, such as genital warts caused by HPV-6 and HPV-11, with medication, but medication isn't always necessary. They may be used alone or as part of a joint test (when both an HPV test and a Pap smear are performed at the same time) to determine the risk of developing cervical cancer. One of the biggest but lesser-known dangers of HPV involves the risk of head and neck cancer, as HPV spreads to the throat through oral sex.