HPV Test At Home

I Think I Have HPV

So I think I have HPV...now what?

This is a common infection that a large number of people have contracted and they never knew they had it. This is because as easy as it is to contract it, the body can fight off the infection without raising any sign. It is a fact that people can contract it, but it will go away by itself within two years, without medical intervention.

This, however, does not mean that it does not have any effect whatsoever in people. Like some illnesses, some people may be asymptomatic, others can be negatively affected it, and can even lead to even more serious illnesses and conditions.

It is recommended you visit the clinic and get tested for HPV.  If you are uncomfortable with the idea of talking to other people about you testing for STD, you can get tested using those at home HPV test kit.

At Home HPV Test Kit

The advantage of using the HPV home test approach is that it is totally private and anonymous.  No one will know you took the test and no one can see the result but yourself.  It is also much cheaper than getting tested for HPV at your nearest clinic.

The Best Home STD Testing For HPV - MyLabBox

The test accuracy is as good as those you get from the clinic.  This online lab for STD testing's processes and methods are certified by CLIA.  You can be assured of their high standards and quality.

How Does MyLab Box Work?

MyLab Box will mail you a discreetly packaged box with all the necessary tools require to collect the specimen.  The instruction is easy to follow and tests can be done in less than 5 minutes.  You then mail the collected specimen in the box provided.  The results will be out in 2-5 days.  You will be notified.  You can then view the test result from MyLab Box online dashboard.  You speak to no one throughout the process.  Complete privacy. 

Get tested for HPV at the comfort and privacy of your home.  Visit the online Lab now.

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HPV is a common infection.  Many people do not even know they are infected.

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HPV

This is a common infection that a large number of people have contracted and they never knew they had it. This is because as easy as it is to contract it, the body can fight off the infection without raising any sign. It is a fact that people can contract it, but it will go away by itself within two years, without medical intervention.

This, however, does not mean that it does not have any effect whatsoever in people. Like some illnesses, some people may be asymptomatic, others can be negatively affected it, and can even lead to even more serious illnesses and conditions.

What this article aims to do is to take a deep dive into what HPV is, the mechanisms through which it operates, and every other form of information that is relevant to the treatment and management of this infection.

What Is HPV?

HPV is an acronym. What it is in full is the Human Papillomavirus. Of the sexually transmitted infections, HPV is the most common. It is so common to the point that the Center for Disease Control estimates that there are 79 million Americans who are infected by the virus currently.

HPV is by no means a mild virus just from the fact that the body can fight it away. The National Cancer Institute estimates that of all the cases of anal cancers reported, a whopping 95 percent developed as a result of HPV infection.

The fact that HPV is the most common type of STI is due to the fact that there are quite a large number of viruses in the family. There are over 100 different types of the virus, of which 40 percent can infect humans and cause serious illnesses.

This commonality means even if one has very few sexual partners, contracting it normal. And also since there are different types of viruses, it is also possible for someone to be concurrently infected by different types of the virus.

Types Of HPV

Even though there are quite a number of these viruses, only a few of them can cause serious illness to the human body. In case one has contracted the virus, it would be prudent for your medical care giver to find out which specific virus is the cause of your symptoms. This helps them figure out the best course of treatment for you.

Some of these viruses will be cleared from your body without affecting you, and some can lead to various types of cancers. As such, your primary medical care giver will monitor your situation by periodically testing for the presence of cancer cells.

These viruses can be further categorized as:

Low risk viruses.

These types of infections are so named because they have very little chance of leading to cancers. This is because the body builds tolerances against them and fights them off. There are two types here and they are known as HPV 6 and HPV 11.

However, these two types can affect the body in a different way. They do cause what is popularly known as genital warts and a condition known as cervical dysplasia. We will have a look at these two conditions later in the article.

High risk viruses.

The viruses in this category are known for causing serious effects. The cervical dysplasia they cause is more damaging than the type caused by low risk viruses. There are 12 different strains of the virus that can cause the dysplasia.

Then out of the 12, there are two that can lead to more serious effects if action is not taken. These two, HPV 16 and HPV 18 have been linked to a number of cancers that developed as a result of HPV.

These cancers usually develop around the anus, cervix, penis, vagina, and the vulva. These high-risk strains have also been linked with causing cancers of the mouth, throat, tongue and tonsils.  This type of cancer is known as oropharyngeal cancer.

How Is HPV Being Spread?

HPV is a very common STI and a lot of people may have had it in one form or another. For this reason, spreading it to multiple people would have been very easy. This is because HPV is mainly spread through skin-to-skin contact during the act of sex.

Even if you’ve had a pretty guarded sexual history, chances are that the partners you trusted may have carried the infection and did not exhibit any symptoms. There are also certain groups of people who are at a high risk of contracting HPV. These include:

  • People who have unprotected sex with multiple partners.
  • People who engage in unprotected, oral, vaginal or anal sex.
  • People who have weakened immune systems due to medications or other reasons such as illnesses.
  • Getting into it with a partner who already has contracted HPV.

Even though HPV can be a mild infection, there are risk factors that can raise the chances of HPV causing more damage. These include:

  • Smoking cigarettes.
  • Using contraceptive pills over a long stretch of time.
  • Bringing forth many children.
  • Having a weakened/compromised immune system, either by medication or from a diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
  • Receiving anal sex.

HPV is a preventable disease. The most common method of prevention is by simply using a condom. Wrapping up not only protects against HPV, but also from a variety of other sexually transmitted infections, and also preventing pregnancy.

If you want to be extra cautious and get ahead, it is possible to prevent infection by using a vaccine. The vaccine is known as Gardasil 9 and is used to prevent nine different types of HPV. It can protect against both cancer causing and genital wart causing types of the virus.

The vaccine is only meant as a preventive measure. It cannot cure one if they have already contracted some type of the virus. The vaccine is not generally known to cause its indicated side effects but nevertheless, they can occur. These side effects include.

  • Headache.
  • Fatigue.
  • Joint pain.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Pain around injection site.
  • Vomiting.
  • Nausea.
  • Pain in the abdomen.
  • Diarrhea.

There has been a large campaign worldwide against some of these vaccines. The main concerns of these campaigns are that these vaccines can cause infertility in all who are immunized. Several studies were conducted and this was found to be not true.

Symptoms Of HPV

There are a large number of HPV viruses out there, and most of them have their own unique effects, while others share symptoms, with only mild differences.

Warts

Warts have been known for a long time throughout human history, with philosophers such as Hippocrates having described it during the height of Greek civilization.

These are characterized by small, hard bumps that form on the skin and are typically the same color as the surrounding areas. They mostly form on the hands and feet but are not limited to those places. They typically do not lead to other conditions are largely painless unless they form on the soles of the feet.

This type of warts is caused by three types of HPV. These are 2, 7 and 22. As the body fights off infections from these viruses, the warts will clear when the infection is completed ejected from the body. This can take months to years, depending on whether the person visited a medical care facility.

This type of warts is mostly due to an infection that was contracted as a result of breakage of skin. Risk factors include using public hygiene facilities or working with infected meat products.

Plantar Warts

These are a type of warts but they are more localized. These usually occur on the soles of the feet or the toes. They may not be different in color to the surrounding areas, however black dots may form where they break out of the skin.

Plantar warts can form in a singular location or several can form spread out around the surface area of the sole. These can be painful and therefore make walking a difficult affair.

Similar to warts, for a HPV infection to cause plantar warts, all it will need is a break in the skin and exposure to areas that may cause infections. These include communal baths and other hygiene facilities. These are caused by the HPV viruses 2, 4, 1, 60 and 63.

Genital Warts

These are the universal sign that an HPV infection is in progress. They are also known as anogenital warts as they can occur on the anus as well. They are mostly found in clump but can occur as single growths. They mostly occur as pink growths that can be either hard or soft.

These growths are mostly found on the external surfaces of genitalia and anal regions. These include the shaft of the penis, the labia majora of the vagina, as well as the sphincter of the anus. It is not limited to external surfaces though.

The growths can appear internal surfaces like inside the vagina or the opening of the urethra. Aside from the growths, the warts may not cause other accompanying symptoms. They have, in cases, causes itchiness and redness. When they occur around the anal opening, they can be quite uncomfortable.

Even though the physical effects of the warts may not be life threatening, it is the psychological effects that could be considered worth monitoring. This is because people tend to develop anxiety and to some, varying degrees of depression.

Anogenital warts can e caused by a large number of the HPV viruses. These include the 6, 11, 42, 44 just to name a few.

Anal Dysplasia

Even though genital warts is the most common form of condition caused by HPV, anal dysplasia is potentially more serious. This is because the HPV infection causes the cells of the anal region to undergo changes. These changes can be described as a precursor to the development of cancer. It is strictly not a cancer.

The onset of anal dysplasia is characterized by the appearance of lesions. A lesion is an abnormal change in the structure and appearance of the tissue of an organism, or in this case, the anus. These can appear as lumps in or around the anus.

Other symptoms include:

  • Bleeding from the anus.
  • A feeling of pressure in the anus that may or may not progress into pain.
  • Change in bowel movements, either more or less. When they do happen, they can be strained.
  • Swollen glands around the anus.

If not checked and treated, anal dysplasia can lead to anal cancer.

Anal Cancer

People who receive anal sex are the most at risk of developing anal cancer. Women who also have a history of cancer of the vagina, cervix or the vulva are also at high risk of developing anal cancer in case of an HPV infection.

These occur as a progression of anal dysplasia. The dysplasia progresses when the abnormal cells bunch up together and form visible lesions inside the anus.

These lesions occur on the skin that is inside the anus. This skin, known as mucosa, is similar to the skin that is inside the mouth, at the cheeks.

The lesions can occur at the junction of the where the rectum meets the anal canal. It can also occur on the perianal skin that is just outside of the opening of the anus. If not checked, the lesions become cancerous, and can quickly spread to the rest of the body when they become malignant.

Regular checkups are necessary to prevent anal dysplasia from progressing into cancer. This is important as anal dysplasia can be easily treated by using chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or even by surgery.

Oropharyngeal Cancer

Even though HPV mostly affects the genitals via genital warts, and the skin via various other warts, it can also infect the tongue and throat. This begins when a person engages in oral sex with someone who is infected by HPV.

All the HPV will need is a slight injury in the mucosa at the throat, the back of the neck or even the tongue in order to infect the giver of oral sex. Detecting the growing cancer is mostly accidental as the patient may present to a healthcare giver with difficulties in swallowing or speech problems.

An initial diagnosis is made by visual observation through the mouth or through rhinoscopy. This is an endoscope that is placed in through the nose. A blood test may also be conducted to give a conclusive answer. This is because the blood may contain antibodies that are specifically meant to suppress the growth of tumors in the body.

This type of cancer is also treated through radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The old method of treatment was through surgery which carried a significant risk of death. Surgery can still be carried out if the case is severe.

Laryngeal Papillomatosis

This is also known as recurrent respiratory papillomatosis. This condition is rare and is characterized by the benign tumors growing in the respiratory and digestive tracts. This is caused when HPV infects the tissues of the throat.

The tumors will then cause the larynx and the trachea to begin constricting. This results in changes in voice quality with the gradual increase in rasping. It can also lead to other conditions such as stridor, which is whistling while breathing, shortness of breath and persistent coughs.

This condition has no known cure. All that can be done is management of the condition. This is done by removing the papilloma as they occur. Voice therapy is also conducted in conjunction in order to maintain voice function. As it is a recurring condition, these procedures can be repeated over the life of the person.

How Is HPV Diagnosed?

Since HPV can affect different parts of the body, and also manifests in different ways, it’s best to look at the different ways in which diagnosis is done.

Women

Testing for HIV in women is mostly done as a precaution against development of cervical cancer. Testing is done using a method known as a Pap smear. What this test is meant to do is to take cells from the lining of the cervix, just before the uterus.

This collection is done at a qualified professional’s office, like a gynecologist. It involves the woman lying on her back and her feet will be supported by platforms known as stirrups. A device known as a speculum is the used to keep the walls of the vagina apart.

The gynecologist will then use a tool from a choice of three in order to lightly scrape the walls and collect the samples. These samples will then be tested to determine whether abnormal cell growth and development is happening.

The US government has set out guidelines that direct when a Pap smear should be conducted. It is currently recommended for women above the age of 21, regardless of whether they’re sexually active or not.

Men

Although men are also at risk of developing complications from HPV infections, testing is not a strict requirement. Those who need to be tested regularly are those who may have a heightened risk of developing various cancers. This includes those who are HIV positive or receive anal penetration.

Similar to women, men will also undergo a Pap smear test, but this time it is conducted on the anus. The goal is still the same, to look for signs of abnormal growth and development of cells.

Testing is recommended for men whose partners do test positive for HPV.

How Is HPV Prevented?

As with a number of STDs, using a condom is highly recommended to prevent those that are transmitted through sexual contact. Practicing safe sex with a partner that you trust and regularly get tested with is another way to keep these diseases at bay.

HPV is one of the few STDs that have a vaccine available to prevent infections. This vaccine is known as Gardasil 9 and is used in the prevention of HPV infections, genital warts and cancers associated with HPV.

The vaccine is administered to both boys and girls upon reaching ages 11 or 12 on recommendation by the Center for Disease Control. This vaccine is given in two days that are spaced six months apart.

Teenagers and adults from 15 to 26, both men and women can receive the vaccine in three doses. Adults above 27 who were yet to be vaccinated can now be given the vaccine.

How Are Warts Treated?

In a large number of cases, HPV and warts will resolve by themselves if treatment is not sought. However, there are medications that can be administered or given by prescription. One of the most common over the counter medication is salicylic acid that is used to remove common warts.

The other medications include:

  • Podophyllin, which is a medication applied by a medical practitioner.
  • Podofilox.
  • Trichloroacetic acid, which is also applied by a medical practitioner.
  • Imiquimod.

In case the warts have become troublesome, especially when they grow around the anus, then surgical methods will be required to remove the warts. The procedures can include:

  • Electrocautery, in which an electric current, either direct or alternating, is passed through a resistant metal wire. The result is high heat is generated. This heat is then is used to burn away the growths. This method is also used to stop blood vessels that are bleeding or need to be removed or redirected, especially during amputations.
  • Laser therapy is where a concentrated beam of light from either a chemical or electrical source is used to remove unwanted areas of tissue. The wand is placed against the skin and the light will the n penetrate deep into the skin, and causes the cells to resume normal function, or even cause cells to die off.
  • Cryotherapy is when liquid nitrogen is used to freeze off unwanted areas of skin, as well as the warts.
  • Interferon injection: This medication is used to treat a variety of illnesses such as Hepatitis B and C, lymphoma, Kaposi’s Sarcoma, as well as genital warts among other illnesses. Due to it’s versatility, the injections can be quite expensive.

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