Human Papilloma Virus

Human Papilloma Virus also known as HPV is a virus we are all familar with yet I believe sometimes misunderstood. The life cycle of HPV was difficult to study many years ago, today there are many different techniques for anylasis. It is a small double stranded circular DNA virus (Pathogenesis of human papillomaviruses in differentiating epithelia, 2022). There are many types of HPV, high and low risk strands. It is the most common STI/STD. Those who are sexually active are at risk, having multiple partners puts you at a greater risk. It can spread by vaginal, anal or oral sex. Can also spread by skin to skin contact during sex. Symptoms can develope years later, therefore making it difficult to determine when you first got the virus. There are types that may not cause any symptoms, some may cause warts, some may cause cancer. HPV can lead to many health problems. Especially for those with weak immune systems. There is no treatment for the virus itself but there is treatment for the health problems it can cause. There are two major secondary health concerns. One is genital warts, they can be small/large, flat/raised, cauliflower like bumps or clusters in the genital area. Usually treated by liquid nitrogen (LN2) or a topical called Imiquimod or Aldara, it ramps up your immune system to attack the viral warts. The other major health concern is Cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the fifth leading cause of death in women (Pathogenesis of human papillomaviruses in differentiating epithelia, 2022). It is important to have recommeded pap smears for detection. If a patient has an abnormal pap smear a colpscopy may be recommended, at this time the cervix is viewed by maginification and samples of abnormal tissue are taken for biopsy. If pre cancer cells are present, removal can be by cryosugery, laser, or surgical removal (loop electosurgical excision/cold knife conization). It is recommeded for those that are 21-65 to be screened for cervical cancer. Ways to prevent spread are by having a monogamous relationship, using a condom, although a condom does not cover all areas that could be affected by warts, warts can still be transmitted, and/or a vaccine. A vacinne is advised for those 26 and younger. If older than 26 it is best to discuss with your health care provider as the vaccine may be less affective (CDC, 2022). 


HPV fact sheet. (n.d.).  HPV fact sheet

Pathogenesis of human papillomaviruses in differentiating epithelia. (2022, November 4). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 


 Trichomonas vaginalis 

Trichomonas vaginalis is a parasite that causes a sexually transmitted disease (STD) called Trichomoniasis (Trichomonas Vaginalis, n.d.). It is usually found in the urethra and vagina of women, and urethra and prostate gland of men. This can produce a contact dependent cytopathic effect on target cells in the genital tract. Those effects can eventually cause damage to the genital epithelium (Trichomonas Vaginalis, n.d.). After a while this will result in dissolving of the epithelium of the vaginal mucosa, which can cause local inflammation of the cervix (Trichomonas Vaginalis, n.d.). The parasite can pass between people during sexual contact; which includes vaginal, anal, or oral sex. The infection is contracted through woman to man, woman to woman, and man to man (Trichomoniasis – Diagnosis and Treatment – Mayo Clinic., n.d.).  

When Trichomonas vaginalis affects its host, it will cause Trichomoniasis. Trichomoniasis which is also called “Trich” can cause a foul-smelling vaginal discharge, genital, and painful urination. Men who contract the infection usually will not exhibit any symptoms (Trichomoniasis – Diagnosis and Treatment – Mayo Clinic., n.d.). Men will however experience itching or irritation inside the penis, burning with urination or ejaculation, and discharge from the penis. If a woman is pregnant and has Trich, she will be at a higher risk of delivering her baby prematurely (Trichomoniasis – Diagnosis and Treatment – Mayo Clinic., n.d.). To diagnose for the presence of Trichomonas vaginalis, the health care provider will perform an exam of the genitals and lab tests. They may also examine a sample of vaginal from inside the penis for men with a microscope (Trichomoniasis – Diagnosis and Treatment – Mayo Clinic., n.d.). Treatment of the infection will require an oral antibiotic that is effective against the infection caused by the parasite.  

The best way to prevent infection is to be in a monogamous relationship and make sure that your partner is being tested. If you're not in a monogamous, make sure you are practicing safe sex. Be honest with your provider if you may be experiencing any symptoms to there is an early detection. Also, inform your partner if you have to infection so they can be tested as well to prevent spreading.  


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Trichomoniasis – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic. (n.d.).  .   

‌ Trichomonas vaginalis. (n.d.).  .