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Questions and Answers about Human Papilloma Virus

WHAT IS HPV?

HPV is a very common virus which can cause a broad spectrum of illness from asymptomatic skin and mucous membranes, to anal or cervical dysplasia, and at worst, to full blown anal or cervical cancer.

There are dozens of identified strains of HPV, some of which are commonly associated with warts (Types 6 and 11), however many people can harbor the virus without ever having a single wart. Some of the strains (Types 16 and 18) can reside in the anus and cervix and cause varying degrees of inflammation broadly characterized as dysplasia. Severe or highgrade dysplasia (HSIL) is strongly associated with the development of anal and cervical cancer, especially in men and women living with HIV/AIDS.
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