The Center for the Biology of Chronic Disease (CBCD) presents the results of its monthly “HPV IQ survey,” which measures the public’s current knowledge of HPV
The Center for the Biology of Chronic Disease (CBCD) concluded its monthly “HPV IQ survey” which measures the public’s current knowledge of HPV. The objective of the survey is to discover the most serious gaps in the public’s understanding of the health issues associated with HPV infection.
The survey analyzes online forums where members of the public ask one another questions concerning HPV. Both the questions and the answers indicated severe confusion regarding the subject. The CBCD decided to launch a new service for the community where the CBCD will address the most pressing issues in this, and future press releases.
Mike Evans, from the CBCD said “Some were suggesting to get rid of genital warts by “scraping them off.” Others couldn’t tell if they were looking at genital warts or genital herpes. It was amazing, really, the degree to which many were ignorant of the facts.”
The survey also ranked the gaps in knowledge by significance and frequency.
The following question was ranked high on this scale. “If you have a vaginal birth while experiencing a case of genital warts, will you transmit HPV, the virus that causes genital warts, to your baby?”
Many women answered yes.
The actual answer, however, is that it is not likely. According to Webmd.com, “If a pregnant woman has genital warts, the doctor will monitor to see if the warts get larger. Hormone changes during pregnancy can cause the warts to multiply or get larger. Sometimes the warts will bleed.
Depending on the extent of the warts, the doctor may postpone treatment until after childbirth. But if the warts get so big that they might cause an obstruction in the vagina, they may need to be removed before childbirth.
Genital warts can be removed surgically, with chemical treatment, or with painless electric current.
The risk of HPV transmission to the baby during childbirth is very low. Even if babies do get the HPV virus, their bodies usually clear the virus on their own.”
However, the CBCD would like to remind the public that there are no FDA approved treatments that kill the virus once a person is already infected.
A healthy immune system is the person’s best defense against the HPV virus. The good news is that the CDC says, “In 90% of cases, the body’s immune system clears HPV naturally within two years.”
On the other hand, removing the warts does not clear the virus. The virus can remain hidden in the body, or what scientists call latent. A latent virus is not a disease. However, latent viruses can cause disease. Therefore, infected individuals that harbor a latent HPV virus should try to eliminate it.