Video Q & A:

HPV

Question:

Can HPV be treated?

Expert:   Harry Fisch, M.D., New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Medical College of Cornell University »

Curious as to whether or not HPV can be treated? Watch this to find out!

Transcript: HPV, which leads to genital warts, CAN be treated, but it can’t be cured. Since most people who have HPV will NEVER have symptoms, the only physical indicator of the virus is the appearance of genital warts. But genital warts are different from standard warts, so DON’T head to your drugstore, head to your doctor. If you have genital warts, your doctor can either prescribe an antiviral cream or remove them in-office. Applied daily, topical creams boost the immune system to help fight off the virus and get rid of the warts. Or, your doctor can either freeze them with liquid nitrogen, burn them off with trichloracetic acid or electrical currents, or surgically remove the warts with a scalpel or laser. These procedures are pretty painless, but surgical removal is your fastest, most effective choice. Remember though, these are just treatment options, NOT cures. So even if you get the wart removed, another outbreak could occur and you can STILL transmit the STI. Since 40 strains of HPV can lead to cervical cancer, women should get annual pap smears for early detection. For women who already have cervical warts, that pap smear becomes a biannual or quarterly test after the first treatment. While HPV won’t kill your sex life, you’ll want to make sure you’re leading a protected one. You don’t want to infect your partner or pick up a different, more harmful, strain of HPV yourself. [On-screen text: Condoms do not fully prevent against herpes and HPV] More »

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