Routes of transmission and infectiousness of human papillomavirus (HPV)

The papillomavirus is widespread. Experts were able to detect hundreds of its species, each of which provokes peculiar symptoms. It is quite simple to become infected with it - for this it is enough to contact the carrier. To protect yourself from an infectious agent, you need to understand how HPV is transmitted.

Papillomas on the body

Key features

The human papillomavirus unites a group of microorganisms that include 100 subspecies, and 13 of them can provoke tumors. Such varieties are called oncogenic. HPV is transmitted mainly through sexual intercourse. Of particular danger are types 16 and 18, which in 70% of cases become the cause of oncology. Degeneration into atypical cells is observed in the area of the external genital organs, as well as on the cervix. In some states, a vaccine against oncogenic strains has been approved and is actively used.


After the onset of sexual activity, infection of both men and women is equally common. There are types of HPV that do not cause problems. Sometimes the infection goes away on its own, without any outside intervention. It takes up to several months, but it takes up to several years for certain types of the disease caused by HPV to pass.

HPV viruses type 6 and 11 provoke the formation of genital warts. They are quite contagious. HPV has its own DNA, which has a spiral shape. Such a microorganism has no shell. Virion reaches 55 nanometers in diameter and can be present for a long time on various surfaces, as well as in air and water. Some varieties are oncogenic, that is, they can cause the degeneration of cellular epithelium into atypical. HPV types are designated with special numbers. Low oncogenicity have:

  • 42;
  • 43;
  • 44.

Species 16 and 18 are considered dangerous. Strain 33, which can cause cancer in women, is also often found. The accumulation of the infectious agent is carried out in the cells of the mucous membranes.

Replication of the microorganism is observed here, after which persistence occurs in different layers of the epithelium. From this moment, the process of transition of cells to atypical ones starts.

Transmission routes

How the human papillomavirus is transmitted in women and men, exactly scientists managed to find out not so long ago. It is introduced into the epithelium only after direct contact with the skin or mucous membranes. Usually, this phenomenon is noted in the presence of microtrauma. This requires contact with an infected person. There is also a common way of infection, which today raises many questions.

HPV infection can occur in the pool

Human papillomavirus has several transmission routes. Sometimes infection can occur in public places such as swimming pools and saunas. It is possible that an infection can enter the mucous membranes if the skin is damaged during shaving, cutting nails, etc. Newborn children become infected when passing through the birth canal of the mother. At risk are medical workers performing surgery on patients with HPV. Urological and gynecological examinations are dangerous, but this can be avoided with the use of disposable gloves and medical instruments.

Persons who work with fish and meat raw can also become infected. There is even a special concept - "butcher's warts". And if earlier there was an opinion that the causative agent of the disease was transmitted exclusively through sexual contact, then after the introduction of the polymerase chain reaction method, it became clear that there are many more ways of infection.

It is possible to determine whether papillomas are contagious only after the correct diagnosis has been made. After entering the human body, the virus passes through the bloodstream and is fixed on the epithelium of the genitals, in the anus. Then it invades the epithelium and its DNA, forcing the cells to function differently. The damaged epidermis grows and divides.The incubation period for HPV is no more than 3 months, but under some circumstances this period can be reduced or increased up to several years.

HPV is able to remain in the body in a latent state for a long time, sometimes it is present even from birth. The virus can spread from person to person quite easily. It is sometimes possible to become infected with a pathogenic microorganism through the saliva of a sick person (especially when kissing). Its prevalence today is great. Some people are carriers and can infect others. External manifestations of pathology are found in 1/3 of women of childbearing age during routine examinations. The presence of such a virus in the body is more expected for specialists than its absence.

PVI and its features

Human papillomavirus infection is a disease caused by an infectious agent present on the skin and mucous membranes. It is called HPV. After it enters the body, after a while, cells grow in the form of warts, warts and papillomas. Half of people who are sexually active have experienced this virus. The infection can manifest itself in a year or more, and sometimes it does not provoke symptoms at all. In most cases, there is a recurrent course of the disease, sometimes self-healing is possible.

Papillomas on the face

Among the known urogenital viral infections, PVI is the most widespread. Her clinical manifestations are diverse. Of the 100 currently known species, 30 lead to the formation of growths in the anogenital region. Some types of HPV can lead to malignant tumors of the cervix, external genital organs in women and men. Carriage may occur when no symptoms are present. These forms are discovered by chance during the examination.

The papilloma virus manifests itself anywhere. This can be the skin under the breasts, on the neck and armpits. It is active on mucous membranes. Condylomas on the genitals contribute to discomfort and aesthetics. Such growths are capable of provoking hemorrhages.

The same prevalence is noted for both sexes. The papilloma virus is more often manifested in people with weak immunity. Those who abuse alcohol and cigarettes and are sexually promiscuous are at greatest risk of infection.

The microorganism is also activated in young people if any unfavorable situations have taken place.An example is long-term use of certain medications. , gastrointestinal diseases, respiratory viral infections. People who often visit the beach also need to be careful, as high humidity reigns here. In addition, the skin is almost not covered by clothing.

Infection can occur not only from casual acquaintances, but also from people with whom a healthy person lives.

Typical symptoms

Most of the known HPV types do not cause painful symptoms. But if it istypes 16 or 18, precancerous pathologies are possible. . . Such states cannot be ignored. The rebirth process can take years, so an infected person always has the opportunity to seek help in a timely manner. By the way, calluses on the feet are also formed with the participation of the papilloma virus.

HPV leads to the appearance of papillomas on the skin

Throughout life, human health changes. As long as the immunity is relatively strong, then only the occurrence of ordinary warts or harmless juvenile neoplasms is likely. With more serious problems with the body's defenses, papillomas appear on a thin leg. They are localized on the eyelids, under the arms and on the neck. For prevention purposes, experts recommend removing such neoplasms.

Genital warts provoke strains of HPV 6 and 11. Transmission of these viruses is carried out sexually. In men, the damaged areas fall on the coronal groove of the head of the penis and the foreskin.For women, these are:

  • labia;
  • the area around the vagina;
  • anus.

If there is no treatment for such growths for a long time, the pathology progresses. Women may have hemorrhages on the vaginal mucosa after intercourse. Discomfort, foul-smelling discharge, and pain in the pelvis, legs, or back are also likely. Symptoms increase as the infectious agent spreads.

About 80% of women have to deal with viral infections. If we are talking about HPV, then its entry into the body contributes to the early onset of intimate life, sexual intercourse without using a condom. The number of diseases caused by HPV has grown exponentially in recent years. The emergence of cervical oncology in young girls who are sexually active is explained by the imperfection of the immune system. During this period, the hormonal status does not have time to establish itself in a full-fledged manner.

Treatment methods

Vaccination against oncogenic HPV strains

In women from 20 to 30 years old, human papillomavirus infection can leave the body on its own in a year. This does not even require special treatment, since immunity copes with the function of getting rid of microorganisms. But the correctly chosen treatment tactics are still preferable, regardless of gender and age. This is 90% of a successful outcome.

Each doctor has his own opinion on the tactics of treatment. But there are foundations that all specialists rely on.

The therapy should be comprehensive. Destructive methods typical for surgical intervention are not always justified. Usually doctors recommend tonic, antiviral and immunomodulatory agents. It is desirable for both partners to undergo such treatment. You should also use condoms to get rid of HPV effectively.