Can You Ever Get Rid of HPV?

Reviewed on 6/24/2021

HPV (human papillomavirus) is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the U.S., and can cause genital warts and cancer. There is no cure for HPV, but sometimes an HPV infection may go away on its own.
HPV (human papillomavirus) is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the U.S., and can cause genital warts and cancer. There is no cure for HPV, but sometimes an HPV infection may go away on its own.

HPV (human papillomavirus) is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the U.S. It affects about 79 million people, mostly in their late teens and early 20s. Some types of HPV can cause health problems including genital warts and cancers. 

There is no cure for HPV though in most cases, HPV infections will go away on their own. However, there are some types of HPV that can linger in the body for years. There are treatments for the health problems caused by HPV, including genital warts

  • Creams or liquids applied to the wart
    • Bichloracetic acid and trichloroacetic acid 
    • Imiquimod (Aldara
    • Interferon 
    • Podofilox (Condylox
    • Podophyllin 
    • Sinecatechins (e.g., Veregen
  • Surgical treatment
    • Cryotherapy to freeze the wart
    • Electrocautery which uses electrical energy to burn away warts
    • Lasers to destroy warts
    • Removal of the wart (excision) 

HPV is not the same as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or herpes simplex virus (HSV).

What Are Symptoms of HPV (Human Papillomavirus)?

HPV (human papillomavirus) usually doesn’t cause any problems and the virus goes away on its own. 

Symptoms of HPV may also develop years after having sex with an infected person, which can make it difficult to know when infection first occurred.

HPV can cause genital warts. Characteristics of genital warts include: 

  • Small bump or group of bumps in the genital area
  • May be large or small, flat or raised, or shaped like a cauliflower
  • Can be skin-colored or pink
  • Burning, itching, or tenderness in the genital area may occur (less common)

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Reviewed on 6/24/2021
References
https://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm

https://obpmedical.com/non-sexual-transmission-of-hpv-101-what-you-need-to-know/

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/genital-warts-in-women-beyond-the-basics?search=genital%20warts&source=search_result&selectedTitle=2~124&usage_type=default&display_rank=2