Prevention & support for sexual health

HPV

Human Papilloma Virus – HPV (condyloma)

 

 

What is the human papilloma virus ?

The HPV virus is the most common STBBI, particularly among young people. This STBBI is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), is transmitted by sexual relations or other intimate contact.

There are several types of HPV, some of which may have serious consequences.

HPV infection is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STI). 70% to 80% of sexually active men and women will have at least one HPV infection in their lifetimes.

How do you get HPV ?

  • From sexual relations with penetration of the penis in the vagina or anus;
  • From oral sex;
  • When sex toys are shared;
  • From intimate contact (skin-to-skin) with an infected person (who may or may not have visible lesions);
  • In rare cases an infected pregnant person may transmit the virus to her baby during delivery.

What are the symptoms of HPV ?

Often no symptoms will appear for several years.

For those who experience symptoms:

  • Lesions appear in the form of warts in the genital area or the anus, and less commonly in the mouth and on the lips;
  • HPV symptoms come in many forms and colours: cauliflower-shaped warts, flat lesions or small pimples which may be pink, red or flesh-coloured;
  • There may be itching and / or discomfort;
  • Sexual relations may be painful.

What is the treatment for HPV ?

  • Burning the lesions with liquid nitrogen;
  • Silver nitrate treatment;
  • Laser treatment in case of a particularly tenacious wart.

90% of condylomas will disappear by themselves after two years, but there may be recurrences.

A health care professional will prescribe treatment depending on the severity of the symptoms. Follow-up visits are necessary.

 

Additional information

An HPV vaccination program was implemented for young women by the Ministry of Health and Social Services of Quebec in September 2008. This vaccine is not currently subsidized for young men, or anyone else who is not eligible for this program.

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