Facts About Having Sex with Someone with HPV

Sexually Transmitted Human Papillomavirus (HPV) In Africa Image

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is very common, especially to sexually active people. In fact, around 80 percent of sexually active people will have such a virus at some point in their lives. But, the sad thing is that people who are infected with HPV don’t know that they have such a virus because it does not manifest any illnesses or symptoms.  

In fact, one out of four people in the US has HPV, which makes it become one of the most common types of Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD). Yes, HPV is prevalent, and it can eventually lead to various kinds of cancer, that’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention prescribes that children ages 11 to 12 years old should be given HPV vaccine. 

Usually, HPV does not cause any health issues, and it just goes away on its own. But, if it doesn’t, then you may be at risk of various health problems such as cancer and genital warts. So even if a person has no signs of having an HPV, the virus will spread through vaginal, anal, or even oral sex. 

Here are the facts about having sex with someone with HPV

  • Using a condom can’t completely protect you from HPV

The risk of transmission of STD cannot be eliminated, but it can be reduced by using male latex condoms consistently and correctly.  But, the virus is possibly living in the hair-bearing areas of the genitals and in the scrotum. It means that the virus can be transmitted by skin-to-skin genital contact, as well as anal and oral sex. 

So, even if condoms are worn correctly, it is still not a guarantee that you can be protected against Human Papillomavirus. The virus can still infect the areas which are uncovered, which means that you are still at risk of getting HPV. 

It is suggested that aside from using condoms while having sexual intercourse, you can reduce your risk of Human Papillomavirus by limiting your partner. It is said that the more sexual partners you have, the greater the risk of having Human Papillomavirus. 

  • Having an HPV vaccine can’t treat the virus itself

Take note that the vaccine available for HPV is not to treat the virus, but to prevent the same. The sad news is that HPV infection has no treatment if there are no signs or symptoms. Doctors do not treat the virus; instead, it treats the health issues caused by Human Papillomavirus. 

For instance, a certain treatment can be used if genital warts appear. The doctor may recommend the patient to take medicine and apply medical creams to cure genital warts. Sometimes, doctors don’t want early treatment of warts because they usually go away on their own.  

Since one of the signs of Human Papillomavirus is anal cancer, you may be advised to undergo surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. The kind of treatment for anal cancer depends on its stage according to the measurement of the tumor and the coverage of cancer. 

  • No cure for HPV infection

There is no way you can cure an HPV infection using antibiotics. Since HPV is a viral infection, you cannot treat the virus using anti-bacterial medications. As of now, there are no antiviral medicines that are scientifically proven to treat the virus. 

But then, there is a possibility that Human Papillomavirus can be cured once you have it with the help of your own immune system. And the signs and symptoms of the said virus can actually be treated using available medications. The safest thing to do is to be protected from the said virus by having a Human Papillomavirus. As they say, “Prevention is better than cure.” 

  • Not all HPV infections can lead to cancer

There are around 150 different types of HPV, and they are commonly considered as sexually transmitted infection in the US. Sometimes, HPV can cause warts on the different parts of the body. There are other types of Human Papillomavirus that cause cancer. 

Cervical cancer and oral cancer are two types of cancers which are linked to HPV. We already discussed that not all HPV could lead to cancer. Instead, Human Papillomavirus, which are considered as high-risk, will most likely lead to cancer. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), out of 100 kinds of Human Papillomavirus, around 14 of which are considered as high risks, which means that these are cancer-causing HPV. Believe it or not, cervical cancer is caused by a certain type of Human Papillomavirus, and it is one of the most common cancers suffered by women in less developed countries.  And around 311,000 women died because of cervical cancer. 

STDs Symptoms in Men

STDs Symptoms in Men Image

Various symptoms are expected to develop due to STDs, and it is important for every man to keep these symptoms in mind. That is why in the following article we will briefly discuss the most common STDs and their symptoms in men. 

The most common STDs and their symptoms in men

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection of the genital tract that can be transmitted through vaginal, anal, and oral unprotected sex. Chlamydia usually goes unnoticed there are very few to no symptoms showing. In fact, it has been estimated that around 25-50% of the male patients with Chlamydia experience no symptoms whatsoever. And the ones that do, usually struggle with:

  • Swollen testicles
  • Painful urination
  • Penile discharge

The good news is that Chlamydia is easily treated with the use of antibiotics. However, repetitive infections are possible and quite common, which is why past patients are advised towards protected sex and regular testing for Chlamydia. 

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is one of the most common STDs known to men and women all around the world. The most obvious reason to get infected with this difficult virus is of course, through unprotected sexual contact. Men who get infected with HPV usually do not develop any symptoms right away. Some of them might develop some symptoms months or years after the initial infection. The most characteristic symptom of HPV is genital warts which develop when oral or anal sex is listed as the main reason. Otherwise, oral warts are expected to develop.

When it comes to HPV, it is better to prevent it than to treat it. That is why there is a vaccine that anybody can get as a way to protect themselves against HPV. Of course, protected sex is another valid prevention method not only for HPV but for all STDs in general. HPV, if it does not show any symptoms, can resolve on its own without any treatment. However, if there are symptoms present, then you definitely need to visit your doctor.

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is another bacterial infection that can be transmitted through vaginal, anal, and oral sex, thus affecting the urethra, anus, and throat. Gonorrhea in men rarely causes any symptoms to develop. However, when they do, the following symptoms are expected to develop:

  • Painful urination
  • White, yellow, or green penile discharge that usually occurs one to fourteen days after the individual has been infected with the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae
  • Pain that is felt in the testicles
  • Itching and soreness in the area of the anus
  • Bloody discharge from the anus
  • Skin rash
  • Painful, swollen glands in the throat

Gonorrhea is also treated with the use of antibiotics. Once again, past patients are advised towards safe, protected sex and regular testing. They also need to be explained the increasing rise of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea, which will make treatment more difficult in the future.

Genital herpes

Herpes is an infection due to the hepatitis simplex virus (HSV). There are two types of hepatitis, of which type 2 is always transmitted through unprotected sex and leads to the development of genital hepatitis. The symptoms of genital herpes in men include:

  • Painful blisters in the genital area
  • Burning and tingling sensations around the blisters
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Muscle aches
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes

When it comes to herpes, there are some general methods that can be used to treat the momentary outbreak; however, future outbreaks are expected to happen. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent any future outbreaks. 

AIDS 

AIDS is a life-threatening disease that is caused by an infection with the human immunodeficiency virus. HIV can be transmitted through a variety of ways, including unprotected sexual contact with a person infected with HIV or who is a carrier of HIV, contaminated needles, from mother to child during pregnancy, etc. This virus attacks your immune system, causing mild to more severe infections to develop in your body. Other than that, upon getting infected, there are some general symptoms that can be experienced including a sore throat, headaches, skin rash, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes. It can take up to 10 years for the infection and disease themselves to be diagnosed. Prevention is key when it comes to AIDS and HIV.

Sexually Transmitted Human Papillomavirus (HPV) In Africa

Sexually Transmitted Human Papillomavirus (HPV) In Africa Image

HPV, or human papillomavirus, is a growing concern. Recent findings suggest a spike in the incidence of HPV diagnosis in the African region. Initial symptoms of the infection are often overlooked. This increases the patient’s risk of developing more serious complications. Currently, a concerning complication includes cervical cancer. 

HPV Incidence Rates In Africa

HPV incidence is increasing according to several reports. Some areas of Africa also seem to be at a higher risk for the infection than others. The highest incidence of HPV is reported in Eastern Africa, with an epidemiology rating of 20.3% among female citizens. In Africa, when all areas are considered, the prevalence of HPV is 18.7% among African women. An estimated 372 million women over the age of 15 in Africa are also considered to be at risk for cervical cancer. 

Recognizing HPV Symptoms Early

Patients who are able to recognize early symptoms of HPV have a higher chance of preventing its complications. For most people, genital warts will be the first symptom to appear. Some people also develop general warts when they are infected with HPV. Two other types of warts can also affect the patient – these include flat and plantar warts. 

The condition can also lead to upper respiratory lesions. Some people develop oral lesions. Cervical cancer is another growing concern related to HPV. There are other cancers that have also been associated with HPV infection. These include cancers affecting the genitals, upper respiratory tract, mouth, and the patient’s anus. 

Preventing HPV

Prevention strategies are required to reduce the incidence of HPV in Africa. There are several prevention techniques that may yield effective results. This includes providing patients easier access to the HPV vaccine. The vaccine is able to provide a significant reduction in the risk of being infected with the STI. 

Patients also need to be made aware of the benefits that come with practicing safe sex. The use of a condom may also further help to reduce the risk of spreading the HPV infection. Patients should also try to minimize the number of different sexual partners they have. 

Treatment For HPV

HPV has no specific cure, which is why prevention is so important. Warts that developed can be treated. A salicylic acid solution is often used to treat these warts. Imiquimod is another topical treatment that may be used to treat warts caused by HPV. 

There are certain surgical options that patients may opt for too. This includes cryotherapy and electrocautery. Surgical removal of the wart is another option that could be considered. 

Conclusion

HPV is considered a serious problem in several regions of Africa. Growing concern about the disease has been reported by the WHO and other organizations. Along with an increase in HPV, researchers note a concerning the prevalence of cervical cancer among women in the country. Patients should be educated about early symptoms and take appropriate action on their side. 

References

https://hpvcentre.net/statistics/reports/XFX.pdf

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hpv-infection/symptoms-causes/syc-20351596

Cervical Cancer In Africa Linked To Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Cervical Cancer In Africa Linked To Sexually Transmitted Diseases Image

Recent studies report an increase in the prevalence of cervical cancer among women in Africa. Researchers believe that this may be linked to certain sexually transmitted diseases. Women in Africa are urged to undergo frequent testing. This accounts especially for women who are sexually active. Early diagnoses of sexually transmitted diseases help to ensure a more successful treatment plan. 

Cervical Cancer Rates Among African Women

A recent report by WHO Africa provided the latest data on cervical cancer among the African female population. An estimated 68,000 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed in the country each year. WHO Africa notes that this is only an estimated figure. There are several healthcare challenges faced by African women. With this in mind, accurate figures maybe even larger than the current estimates. 

The major concern is that cervical cancer is often considered a preventable condition. Unfortunately, it still remains a major concern among the African female population. At least 22% of cancers diagnosed among women in Africa are cervical cancer. 

Human Papillomavirus And Cervical Cancer

Current estimates for cervical cancer seem to have a connection to the rate of sexually transmitted diseases in African countries. Research suggests that one of the most critical causes that women need to realize is human papillomavirus. Also called HPV, an estimated 70% of cervical cancer cases in Africa are now thought to be associated with this STD. 

Early detection of human papillomavirus is a key element in reducing the risk of cervical cancer. Unfortunately, many women will only discover their HPV infection once cervical cancer has already developed. With this in mind, sexually active women need to ensure they are frequently tested for HPV, as well as other common STDs in Africa. 

Warts are the most common symptom associated with an HPV infection. These warts will most often affect the genital area of the woman. African women are urged to be on the lookout for such warts. This becomes a major concern among women who are sexually active today. 

Testing for HPV infection is a relatively easy and straightforward process. In some cases, HPV may be diagnosed through visual inspection of warts that have developed. There are additional tests that can also be performed. This can help the doctor make a more accurate diagnosis. Other possible causes behind warts can also be ruled out when additional tests are ordered. 

An effective HPV vaccine is available. This can help to effectively reduce the risk of African women. Safe sex is another important preventative strategy to consider. 

Conclusion

Cervical cancer is common in Africa, along with the STD human papillomavirus. These two have a close relation. The World Health Organization urge women in Africa to undergo frequent HPV testing. Appropriate measures are required to assist in reducing the incidence of cervical cancer among the African female population. Early diagnosis plays a key role in assuring such a goal can be reached. 

References

https://www.afro.who.int/news/cervical-cancer-common-amongst-african-women

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/246670

Rwanda Being the First Country to Possibly Wipe Out Cervical Cancer

Rwanda and sexually transmitted infections

With cervical cancer being one of the most common causes of death all around the world, especially in high burden countries such as Rwanda, the people in Rwanda have made a great step forward, focusing on wiping out cervical cancer altogether. With the techniques and methods that they have developed over the years, the rates of cervical cancer have declined, offering their residents an opportunity to live a healthier, longer life.

Rwanda and the possibility to completely wipe out cervical cancer

Cervical cancer has represented a potentially life-threatening health issue for the longest time now, accounting for more than 68 000 new cancer cases in Africa. Every 23 out of 100 000 women is estimated to die from cervical cancer, with every 34 out of 100 000 women being affected by it. These are some frightening numbers.

Most cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV (Human Papillomavirus), with HPV-16 and HPV-18 being the two most common types of HPV out of the 100 different ones that are most frequently leading to cervical cancer.

Read more: 1 in 9 men has oral HPV

Being the most common type of cancer in their country, the people of Rwanda, Africa have decided to put a stop to it. It was 2010 when Rwanda first decided to make wiping out cervical cancer a health priority, agreeing on a partnership with the pharmaceutical company called Merck that was supposed to deliver the much-needed HPV vaccines and with that, contribute to the preventing HPV in the first place.

It wasn’t easy to raise awareness

It took the authorities in Rwanda a long time to raise the much-needed awareness and convince the parents to agree on getting their children vaccinated. There are different reasons as to why that was the case. While some deny to talk about reproductive health and think of it as a taboo, others believe that by vaccinating their children, they ought to become promiscuous in the near future, engaging in frequent sexual activity with multiple sexual partners, thus exposing themselves to the other common STDs.

But since then, the authorities in Rwanda have succeeded at changing more and more people’s opinions, helping to protect younger lives, thus becoming potentially the first country to wipe cervical cancer.  A lot of things have changed since Rwanda first decided to focus on eliminating cervical cancer. Nowadays, they are offering the newest vaccine called Gardasil 9, which works by preventing nine different types of HPV.

But it is not only their prevention method that has improved over the years. Today, Rwanda also focuses on proper screening and managing the cases of cervical cancer, offering support along the way. They are now offering proper immunization for other dangerous diseases such as rubella, polio, and measles, helping the lifespan of the people of Rwanda to double between 1995 and 2011.

Effective prevention was key

Since 2010, which is when the authorities in Rwanda first decided to make a great change in the lives of their female residents, the rates of cervical cancer and HPV infections have successfully declined. It was all about effective prevention through immunization that has been made available and offered to everyone, in addition to offering proper management and treatment that has helped increase the life expectancy of the people of Rwanda.

References

https://www.afro.who.int/news/cervical-cancer-common-amongst-african-women

https://travelnoire.com/rwanda-could-be-the-first-country-to-eliminate-cervical-cancer

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/30/health/rwanda-first-eliminate-cervical-cancer-africa-partner/index.html