Are There Any Cure For HPV Infections?
There is no cure for HPV. There are no medicines or creams that have been developed to kill the HPV virus.
We have to rely on the body’s own immune system to eradicate the virus.
Fortunately, this happens most of the time. One study estimated that up to 80% of people who are infected with HPV are able to spontaneously eradicate the virus from their bodies within 2 years.
However, for the people who are unable to do that, they may develop cancer or genital warts.
Are There Any HPV Testing or Screening?
There are currently medical tests available for us to screen for cancers and pre-cancer lesions of the cervix, throat and anus related to HPV.
In this way, Doctors can identify patients who are likely to develop cancer and treat them before they actually have cancer.
There are also medical tests available to look for certain high-risk strains of HPV in the cervix, anus and throat.
Patients who have such high-risk strain such as Type 16 and Type 18 may require more aggressive observation and follow up or even treatment so as to prevent them from developing cancer.
One of the most effective ways of protecting oneself from getting infected with HPV in the first place is to get a HPV vaccine.
The latest HPV vaccine directly protects against 9 strains of HPV (Gardasil 9) but also cross protects against many other strains.
Since the majority of HPV related cancers are caused by only a few strains, the HPV vaccine reduces the risk of developing HPV related cancer by more than 90%.
Who is Suitable for HPV Vaccination?
The vaccine is indicated for use in both men and women.
Boys and girls as young as 9 years of age can receive the vaccine.
In the latest report by the US FDA, men and women up to the age of 45 years old can benefit from the HPV vaccine.
The vaccine is most often given as a course of 3 injections over 6 months.
In younger patients, they sometimes only require 2 injections.