HPV (Human Papillomavirus) is called by doctors a scourge of the 21st century. It spreads around the planet very rapidly. He currently ranks first among sexually transmitted infections.
Over the past 10 years, the number of people infected with this virus has increased 10 times, and the epidemic is only gaining momentum.
The number of infected HPV is growing rapidly
The human papillomavirus belongs to the family of DNA-containing papillomaviruses. The genome of the virus is enclosed in a protein shell. More than 200 serotypes of the virus were studied (different sequence of nucleotide combinations). Of these, about 30 were detected in humans.
HPV has the ability to affect the epithelium of the skin and mucous membranes. When it enters a cell, it changes its normal life cycle: instead of dying, the cell begins to divide uncontrollably. In connection with the excessive division of cells on the skin and mucous membranes, various hypertrophic formations occur. They can be either benign or malignant.
Depending on the serotype, the virus has a high and low oncogenic risk
HPV type 31 can cause cancer
In men, up to 90% of cases of cancer of the anal canal, up to 40% of cancer of the penis, up to 80% of cancer of the head, mouth and throat are caused by oncogenic types of HPV.
How does HPV infection 31 occur?
The penetration of the virus into the epithelial cells occurs from an infected person through microdamages and cracks in the skin and mucous membranes. In this case, contact should be close enough, therefore, the main transmission route of HPV is through sexual contact.
A household transmission route without sexual contact is not excluded (the virus remains viable in the environment, in pool water), however, this transmission route is much less common and is not significant in the rapid spread of the virus.
The incubation period (the time from the moment the virus enters the body until the onset of symptoms) with HPV 31 is usually from 2 to 11 months, but can last for many years.
After the virus enters the cell, several outcomes are possible:
- HPV can self-eliminate from the body along with permanently dying epithelium.
- The virus can persist (exist without causing disease) in the cells without causing any clinical manifestations. At the same time, a man is a carrier of the virus.
- HPV 31 causes cell proliferation, with the formation of benign neoplasms – warts, papillomas.
- HPV 31 can initially or against the background of benign formations cause oncogenic cell mutations, in which case cancer develops.
The main source of human papillomavirus infection, including and HPV 31 – sexual contact
What is the insidiousness of HPV?
- HPV infects up to 70-80% of the sexually active population, but only in 1-1.5% it manifests itself clinically. The percentage seems to be small, but it is the only virus with reliably proven oncogenic properties.
- It affects mainly young people aged 17 to 28 years. It is proved that the early onset of sexual activity increases the risk of infection by 22 times.
- After infection, it can “nap” in the body from several months to tens of years.
- In most cases, sexual partners do not know that they are infected.
- Even if a man does not reveal any symptoms of the disease, it can be a source of infection for a woman (and in women, cervical cancer in 100% of cases is caused by HPV).
- Complete cure for HPV is almost impossible.
- HPV does not penetrate the blood, but persists at the site of introduction. On the one hand, it’s good. On the other hand, immunity after the infection is practically not formed, a person is able to become infected with the virus again.
- Men do not undergo an annual examination, like women, so the initial manifestations of even malignant tumors are usually skipped. Given the psychological characteristics of men, they turn to the doctor, as a rule, already with advanced forms of cancer.
What symptoms can HPV 31 cause in men?
So, the virus entered the epithelial cells. Why does it cause disease in some, while in others it simply “slumbers” or is it eliminated from the body itself? There is no exact answer to this question.
It is assumed that the manifestation of symptoms of diseases is facilitated by several factors that weaken the immune system:
- accompanying illnesses;
- other infections, especially viral;
HPV subclinical manifestations
Subclinical manifestations are conditions when there is an infection, there are changes in the epithelium, but the patient himself does not notice or feel anything. These include neoplasia and dysplasia of the epithelium of the penis, anal canal, and oral cavity. This change in the structure of normal tissue refers to precancerous conditions.
Theoretically, they can be diagnosed with scraping microscopy, but in practice such conditions in men are simply skipped.
Clinical forms of HPV
These are the conditions with which the man is already going to the doctor.
- Anogenital Warts
Warts occur at the site of HPV
After some time, seals, papules, plaques, and condylomas begin to form at the site of the introduction of the virus. The sizes of neoplasms can be from subtle microscopic to rather large growths (giant Bushke-Levenstein condyloma).
These are, as a rule, benign formations, however, their transformation into cancer is not excluded.
Warts cause inconvenience, are injured during intercourse, bleed.
- Penile cancer
It develops gradually, can grow both outward (exophytic form) and inward (endophytic form). Any non-healing ulcer, any seal, growth on the penis should be examined for the presence of malignant cells.
- Cancer of the anal area
The incidence of this type of cancer is increasing. Oncogenic viruses, including HPV 31, are found in 70% of cases. Gay men and HIV-infected are more susceptible to cancer of the anal canal. Symptoms – compaction in the anus, ulceration, sprawling and bleeding papillomas, bleeding.
- Cancer of the oral cavity, tonsils, pharynx, larynx
There is a tendency to increase the number of these cancers associated with HPV, and it is in men. HPV infection with this localization is due to the corresponding sexual behavior.
Men have no genital screening tests for women. Therefore, a man should himself be interested and periodically examine his anogenital area. With any changes – the appearance of spots, warts, discoloration of the skin, sores, it is advisable to examine, including HPV.
You can contact a urologist, andrologist or a dermatovenerologist.
The main examination methods for suspected HPV:
- cytological examination of a smear or print;
- PCR molecular analysis for the presence of HPV and determination of its genotype;
The PCR method accurately determines the type of HPV infection
- histological examination of a biopsy specimen with suspected malignancy.
HPV treatment 31
HPV treatment is currently aimed at eliminating clinical manifestations and improving quality of life.
Exposure to liquid nitrogen is one of the methods for removing papillomas
In the presence of anogenital warts, they are removed surgically or by other methods: laser, liquid nitrogen, burn with acids and cytotoxic drugs.
In almost half of cases, the disease recurs.
There are no methods to completely rid a person of the papilloma virus. However, there are studies proving that the use of drugs that stimulate antiviral immunity, significantly reduces the number of relapses. These are interferon preparations, interferon inducers and other immunomodulators . Search and development of such drugs is very active.
When detecting the malignancy of the process, radical treatment is carried out in all possible ways: surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy.
HPV Prevention 31
- the exclusion of a large number of random sexual relations;
- the use of barrier contraceptives (condoms);
- regular testing for STIs;
- maintaining a healthy lifestyle, giving up bad habits.