human papilloma virus

human papilloma virus

From warts to cancer. What are papillomas and why are they dangerous?

Human papillomavirus (human papillomavirus - HPV) is a disease caused by a viral infection that affects the skin and mucous membranes.

The virus manifests itself in the form of warts, papillomas, condylomas of various forms. The tumor consists of nodules and resembles cauliflower inflorescences or cockscombs. Skin papilloma can be both small (no more than 1 mm) and quite large (up to 2 cm). At the beginning of its development, the formation has a flesh color, but over time it acquires a brown tint. Most often, warts appear on the neck, in the groin folds, armpits, elbows, knees, head, and around the eyes. Also, the growths can be in inconspicuous places, for example, on the cervix, in the vagina, on the external genitalia.


This disease has been known since ancient Greece. To date, statistics say that only 1 in 10 people is not a carrier of any type of HPV.

To determine what kind of virus you have, you need to see a doctor and pass the necessary tests.

forms of infection

The papilloma virus needs special conditions to infiltrate the body. Infection occurs from person to person through direct contact. The greatest danger of transmission is through sexual contact, since the alkaline environment is beneficial for the virus, and there are usually microcracks in the genitals.

In everyday life, it is more difficult to get infected with the papilloma virus, but there is a risk of transmission of the virus if the sick and the healthy use the same bath towel and washcloth. If someone in the family is sick with HPV, personal hygiene and precautions should always be observed.

The only manifestation of papillomavirus are genital warts and flat papules, although there may be no visible manifestations of the virus.

Risk factor's

What to do if. . .

. . . if you accidentally damaged or tore off the tumor, treat the wound with an antiseptic (brilliant green, alcohol solution). For the first 2-3 days, do not bother her with water procedures and do not cover her with a Band-Aid.

. . . if the growth bleeds, hurts, has increased in size, you should urgently seek help from a specialist.

The human papilloma virus is a risk factor for the development of cancer. First of all, cancer of the cervix, as well as the external genitalia.

But infection with papilloma does not necessarily lead to cancer. There are viruses of low oncogenic risk - these are subtypes 6, 11, 42, 43, 44 (most often they appear in the form of pointed outgrowths - genital warts). Subtypes 16, 18, 31, 33 have a high oncogenic risk, they form flat papules, warts. But from infection to malignant degeneration of cells, on average, it takes 10-20 years.

Smoking, alcohol, obesity, hormonal disorders that reduce immunity can accelerate the pathological process. Sometimes a virus that has been dormant in the body for years can suddenly wake up from sleep.

Papilloma is pushed to destructive changes by sexually transmitted infections: cytomegalovirus, genital herpes, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis.

Also, banal inaccuracy can become a risk factor. Papillomas in the armpit, neck, and face are often injured, after which they bleed and may become inflamed.

Frequent trauma of the papilloma can contribute to its degeneration into a malignant tumor.

If you have large papillomas on your body that you frequently touch, this is a direct indication for their removal.

The importance and effectiveness of vaccination

Papillomavirus vaccination is important to prevent cancer and genital warts in men and women. In addition, vaccines prevent precancerous conditions.

Papillomavirus vaccination reduces the risk of several diseases:

  • Cervical cancer- Special Vaccine 4 reduces the risk of disease by approximately 70%, and Vaccine 9, approved for use in Israel since academic year 5780 (2019 - 2020), can reduce the risk of disease by approximately 90%.
  • vaginal cancer– reduces the risk of disease by approximately 96%.
  • penis cancer– reduces the risk of disease by approximately 99%.
  • rectal cancer- reduces the risk of disease by approximately 77%.
  • warts on the genitalsIn Australia, among girls under 21 years of age, the vaccine reduced the incidence by approximately 92%, and among boys aged 16 to 26 years by approximately 89%.
  • The vaccine also prevents the formation of warts on the genitals and in the larynx, which appear shortly after infection.

Duration of protection provided by the vaccine

Vaccination is effective for a period of at least 15 years, which is the time that has elapsed since the vaccine was first used. Studies show that women who were vaccinated 15 years ago still have levels of antibodies that protect against the virus. Experts predict that the vaccine will provide protection for years to come; possibly for life.

Vaccination process

Vaccination against papillomavirus is carried out by intramuscular injection in the shoulder area, two or three servings for six months.

HPV vaccination is recommended for boys and girls ages 9 to 26.
In special cases, on the recommendation of the attending physician, it is possible to vaccinate men and women from 27 to 45 years of age.

It is important to be vaccinated at school age:

  • The vaccine does not cure diseases resulting from an infection that occurred before vaccination, and therefore it is important to get vaccinated before the risk of infection arises.
  • Papillomavirus infection is possible at the first sexual contact, and therefore it is important to be vaccinated before the start of sexual activity.
  • The best immune response is achieved with vaccination at school age, compared to vaccination at an older age.

Vaccination against HPV papillomavirus as part of the vaccination program in schools

  • As of the 2019-2020 school year, boys and girls in the 8th grade of the school will be vaccinated with vaccine 9, in two portions with an interval of six months.
  • In recent years, vaccinations have been carried out: From the 2015-2016 school year and up to the 2018-2019 school year, boys and girls were vaccinated in the 8th grade of the school with vaccine 4. In the 2014-2015 school years, girls were vaccinated in the 8th grade of the school with vaccine 4. In the 2013 school year- In the 2014 school year, the girls were vaccinated with the Cervarix vaccine in the 8th grade of the school and the girls in the 9th grade in the health office.

vaccination of children

The recommendation to vaccinate boys, not just girls, follows the same reasons girls are vaccinated:

  1. To protect girls and boys from cancers and genital warts caused by a virus
  2. To prevent transmission of the virus from person to person

Vaccination of unvaccinated children at school

We recommend that children who have not been vaccinated at school get vaccinated against HPV.

The Ministry of Health recommends that girls born in 1999 or later, and boys born in 2002 or later who have not completed their full course of vaccination, be vaccinated.

  • ninth graders- Vaccination will be performed by health care providers for students at the place of residence, free of charge.
  • Students in grade 10 and above who are under the age of 18– Vaccination will be carried out at the Secretary of Health of the Ministry of Health of the place of residence, free of charge.
  • Over 18 years– you can be vaccinated at the health insurance fund, paying a fee.

Children who received only one dose of the vaccine in grade 8 should receive a further vaccination with a second dose after at least six months.

Children receiving two doses in 8th grade less than five months apart should receive an additional vaccination with a third dose at least 12 weeks after the second dose.

Starting in grade 9, unvaccinated children are vaccinated by giving them three doses (instead of two, since the response to the vaccine is better at a younger age). The recommended time interval between the first and second servings is one to two months, and between the second and third servings is five months.

Vaccination is recommended for adults up to 26 years of age.

Adults who have received a dose of the vaccine in the past should supplement the vaccination according to age at the time of vaccination.

Do not vaccinate at the same time as other vaccines.

It is not necessary to check for HPV infection before vaccination.

Vaccine Safety

HPV vaccines contain only an empty shell of the virus and do not contain the genetic material (DNA) of the virus; therefore, they are safe and there is no possibility of infection with HPV papillomavirus during vaccination.