enital HPV infection is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the human papillomavirus. The name refers to a group of viruses with more than 100 types, of which more than 30 are sexually transmitted.
Infection with a high risk type of HPV (the most common types 16,18,33,34) can lead to cervical cancer, cancer of vulva, vagina, anus or penis. Any person who ever had sexual contact with a HPV infected person can get the infection. This applies to both men and women who can transmit the virus to their sexual partners without even knowing they are infected. HPV types that attack the genital system are spread primarily through sexual contact. Rarely the virus can be transmitted during vaginal delivery from mother to child. Even rare is finding warts in the larynx of the child who came in contact with the virus through delivery.
Diagnosis of genital HPV infection is set by clinical examination with loupe or by using colposcopy in women or peniscopy in men. Method of choice for detection of HPV infection of cervix in women is PCR genotyping and searching for viral DNA in the sample or swab of tissue. HPV cannot be detected by Pap test because it only shows abnormal changes in the cells but does not prove viral DNA.
It is a vaccine that contains four inactivated HPV types (high-risk types 16 and 18 and low-risk types 6 and 11). Types 16 and 18 cause 70% of all cervical cancers, while types 6 and 11 are responsible for 90% of genital pointed warts and condyloma cases. Vaccine is intended for both girls and boys aged 14-15 years before first sexual encounter – that is before first contact with HPV.