Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted virus that can cause warts or abnormalities in cervix, anus, mouth, or throat cells. Most people contract HPV at some point in their life, although the virus is normally cleared by the immune system on its own. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 80% of persons will have an HPV infection during their lifetime. HPV infection is more common in young people, particularly those who are sexually active. HPV is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact, most notably through sexual intercourse. One of the most frequent sexually transmitted illnesses in the world is human papillomavirus (HPV). Vertical transmission is also possible during birth, from mother to infant. HPV can be transmitted even when there are no obvious symptoms of the virus, allowing the virus to spread undetected. To limit the chance of transmission, it is critical to practice safe intercourse and get vaccinated against HPV. 

Human papillomavirus (HPV) incubation can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. In many circumstances, the immune system of the body may remove the virus before symptoms appear. Many persons with HPV have no symptoms, while others have minor signs that go undiagnosed. In certain situations, the virus might survive for years without generating symptoms. This is why it is critical to get frequent check-ups and screenings to detect any changes in the cells that could indicate HPV infection. It is also crucial to understand that not all HPV infections cause symptoms, and many people who are infected with HPV may be unaware that they are afflicted. 

There are around 150 different forms of HPV, and approximately 40 of them can infect the vaginal area. It can produce genital warts in females, which appear as tiny, fleshy growths on the vulva, cervix, or anus. If left untreated, it can also create alterations in the cervix's cells, which can lead to cervical cancer. In men, the genital warts look little fleshy or grey growths on the penis, scrotum, or anus. These warts are normally painless, but they can be irritating or unpleasant. If HPV infects children, it can produce warts on several regions of the body in children, including the hands, feet, and face. If left untreated, it can also create alterations in the cells of the neck, anus, or genital area, which can lead to cancer. 

Untreated human papillomavirus (HPV) infection can cause a variety of health issues, depending on the type of HPV infection and the portion of the body affected. In rare situations, the body's immune system can eliminate the virus on its own. If the virus is not eradicated, it might induce alterations in the cells that can lead to cancer. Some HPV strains, for example, can develop cancer of the cervix, anus, penis, vulva, or throat. HPV-related malignancies can spread to other parts of the body and become more difficult to treat if left untreated. This is why it is critical to get frequent check-ups and screenings to detect any changes in the cells that could indicate HPV infection. Untreated HPV can cause genital warts, which are little fleshy growths that can form on the genital area, anus, or throat, in addition to malignancy. These warts, which can be irritating or uncomfortable, can be treated with medicines or surgically removed. Human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause a variety of cancers in both men and women. The following are some of the most prevalent cancers caused by HPV:

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that affects the cervix, which is the bottom section of the uterus that opens into the vagina. In women, it is one of the most prevalent HPV-related malignancies. Cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent disease in women globally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), with an estimated 570,000 new cases and 311,000 deaths per year. Cervical cancer is more common in developing nations, where screening and treatment are frequently unavailable.

 Anal cancer is a type of cancer that affects the anus, which is the orifice at the end of the rectum via which stool exits the body. Anal cancer is more common in men who have sex with other men, although it can occur in women as well. Anal cancer has become more common in recent years, particularly among those with a history of anal intercourse and those with impaired immune systems. Anal cancer is more common in men who have sex with other men, although it can occur in women as well.

 Oropharyngeal cancer is a type of throat cancer that affects the oropharynx, which comprises the tonsils and the base of the tongue. Oropharyngeal cancer is more frequent in men, but it can strike women as well. Oropharyngeal cancer has been on the rise in recent years, particularly among those infected with specific forms of HPV. Oropharyngeal cancer is more frequent in men, but it can strike women as well.

Penile cancer is cancer of the penis, the male reproductive organ. Penile cancer is uncommon, but if left untreated, it can be fatal. Penile cancer is an uncommon type of cancer; however it is more common in some parts of the world, including Sub-Saharan Africa. Vulvar carcinoma is a type of cancer that affects the vulva, which is the external female genital area. Vulvar cancer is uncommon, but if left untreated, it can be fatal. Vulvar cancer is a rare type of cancer that affects mostly older women.

HPV-related cancers can be treated with surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these therapies. The sort of treatment will be determined by the location and stage of the cancer, as well as the patient's overall condition. HPV-caused genital warts can be treated with drugs administered directly to the warts or surgically removed. Warts may disappear without treatment in certain circumstances, but this can take a long time.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the prevalence of HPV-related malignancies is high in India. With an estimated 124,000 new cases and 74,000 fatalities each year, India has one of the highest rates of cervical cancer in the world. Anal, oropharyngeal, penile, and vulvar malignancies are also common in India. A lack of access to screening and treatment, cultural stigma around sexual health, and inadequate HPV vaccine coverage all contribute to India's high frequency of HPV-related malignancies. The Indian government has made many steps to raise awareness about HPV and lower the country's burden of HPV-related malignancies, including the inclusion of the HPV vaccine in the national immunization program.

There are numerous methods for avoiding HPV infection:

  1. HPV immunizations: HPV vaccines are extremely efficient in avoiding infection with the most common kinds of HPV that cause cancer. The HPV vaccine is recommended for both boys and girls beginning at 11 or 12 years of age and can be administered up to the age of 45.

  2. Safe sex practices: While using condoms and other barrier techniques during sexual activity reduces the chance of HPV transmission, it does not entirely remove the risk.

  3. Limiting sexual partners: Reducing the number of sexual partners can lower the risk of HPV exposure and infection.

  4. Regular screening: Regular screening, such as Pap tests and HPV testing, can aid in the early detection of HPV infection and the prevention of HPV-related malignancies.

The HPV vaccination is suggested for girls aged 9 to 14 years old and can be administered up to the age of 45. Depending on the type of vaccine used, the vaccine is often administered in two or three shots. Several awareness efforts have been conducted by the Indian government to promote the HPV vaccine and enhance uptake among eligible groups. These activities attempt to lessen the country's burden of HPV-related malignancies and other health issues. It is critical for Indian parents and young girls to understand the benefits of the HPV vaccine and consider being vaccinated to minimise the risk of HPV-related malignancies and other health concerns. Speaking with a doctor or other health care practitioner can assist in determining the best route for HPV vaccination. In India, there are now two brands of HPV vaccinations available:

1. Cervarix: A two-dose HPV vaccine, the first administered at 0 months and the second administered 6 months later.

2. Gardasil 9: A two-dose HPV vaccine for males and females aged 9-45 years, as well as a three-dose HPV vaccine for males and females aged 9-14 years, with the second dose administered 2 months after the first and the third dose administered 6 months after the first.

The cost of the HPV vaccine in India varies according to the brand, the administration type (public or private), and the area. A single dosage of the HPV vaccine might cost between Rs. 1500 and Rs. 3,000 in India.

Screening for cervical cancer is done through a pap smear. It is commonly suggested for women beginning at the age of 21, and it is usually performed every three years for women with normal test findings. Women who are at a higher risk of developing cervical cancer may require the test more regularly. It detects changes in a woman's cervix cells that may indicate the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells. The test is typically performed as part of a woman's routine gynaecological exam. A soft brush or spatula is used to obtain a sample of cells from the cervix, which is subsequently inspected under a microscope. The sample can detect abnormal cells that may indicate cervical cancer or precancer, as well as viruses like human papillomavirus (HPV). The Pap smear is a quick, easy, and painless treatment that can help discover cervical cancer early, when it is most curable.

There are various government-run programs and projects in India focused on boosting access to Pap smear screenings and raising cervical cancer awareness. Here are a few examples: National Cancer Control Programme: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare oversees this nationwide program, which aims to control and prevent cancer through early identification, treatment, and palliative care. Pap smear screenings are provided as part of the program in selected health centres and clinics across the country. Pink Ribbon Program: The Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA), a non-profit organisation in India, runs a cervical cancer screening program. Through outreach initiatives, awareness campaigns, and mobile screening units, the program aims to promote access to cervical cancer screening services and improve early identification of the disease.

Cervical Cancer Awareness  is an annual observance that takes place in January to raise awareness about the importance of early detection and prevention of cervical cancer. The goal of this month is to educate women about the risks of cervical cancer and the steps they can take to protect themselves, such as getting regular Pap tests, HPV vaccination, and following a healthy lifestyle. Theme for this year is to raise cervical cancer awareness and end it within a few generations. Health camps and outreach events were held around the world over the week to educate women about cervical cancer, the need for early detection, and its impact on the health of women. The event is organised by a variety of health organisations and advocacy groups. The various activities include health fairs, educational seminars, and media campaigns. Various health organisations and advocacy groups, healthcare practitioners, survivors etc, use this platform to educate the public on the importance of HPV vaccine, cervical cancer screening, and early diagnosis, as well as to encourage individuals to take steps to protect themselves against HPV. 


Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause major health issues, including some types of cancer. HPV can be prevented with vaccination, which is advised for both girls and boys between the ages of 9 and 14. In addition to vaccination, wearing condoms and limiting the number of sexual partners can help minimise the risk of HPV infection. Regular cervical cancer screenings, including as pap tests, are also helpful for detecting and treating HPV-related health concerns early. If you have any concerns about HPV or your risk of HPV-related health problems, it is critical to get specific advice and counselling from a doctor or healthcare provider. Overall, following HPV prevention measures can help minimise the chance of significant health problems while also improving overall health and well-being.