Infections with the human papilloma virus (HPV) belong to the group of sexually transmitted viral diseases. Most HPV infections heal unnoticed, although in some cases harmless skin symptoms can occur, such as the formation of genital and anal warts.
More than 100 different subgroups of HPV are known. In about 40 species, an infection of the skin and mucous membrane cells in the genital area forms as a reaction. Some types are also suspected of being a cause of malignant diseases. It is now confirmed that some HP viruses are involved in the development of cervical cancer. However, it is still unclear how cells degenerate as a result of an HPV infection.
HPV infections are common in the population. It is estimated that 80 to 90 percent of sexually active women will become infected with an HPV virus during their lifetime. The frequency increases between the ages of 15 and 24. The majority of infected women no longer have the virus after one to two years. Men can also become infected with HP viruses. However, they usually do not notice the disease, since it runs completely unnoticed apart from minor skin changes on the penis.