Papillomavirus (HPV) is widespread among the population – statistics show that nearly 90% of the world's inhabitants are carriers of the virus. Often a person does not even suspect that he is infected, because the infection may not manifest itself for years. More than 100 strains of papillomavirus were studied, one third of which carry a potential threat of malignant neoplasms. So, HPV type 31 is a type of virus with a high oncogenic risk, which, with untimely diagnosis and inadequate therapy, can cause a cancerous tumor.
The virus is transmitted by direct contact with an infected person or surface. Most often this happens:
- During intercourse – usually this is exactly how 31 types of HPV enter the body. Virus DNA is found in all biological fluids, so even contact contraception can protect the stalls by only 50%;
- In everyday life – the use of other people's hygiene products increases the risk of infection. Also, any tactile contact with the rashes of a sick person can lead to infection, especially if you have open sores or microtrauma on your skin;
- During childbirth – 31 genotypes can be diagnosed even in a newborn. For an unborn child, it is very dangerous if at the time of delivery the HPV in the woman is in the active phase, and there are rashes on the genitals – the risk of damage to the mucous tissues of the respiratory tract increases.
And yet, most often, infection occurs during unprotected sexual intercourse.
What happens after infection
No one is safe from HPV 31 infection – the virus poses a potential threat to both women and men – the greatest risk of infection is the possible development of cancer.
After HPV has entered the body, it takes root in the upper epithelial layer and remains there forever. Even timely, adequate therapy will not help eliminate the virus completely. However, if the infection occurred before the age of 25, then the chances of overcoming the ailment increase at times.
Since HPV belongs to the group of immunodependent viruses, it is possible to cope with it only if there is a strong immune system supplemented with immunocorrect therapy. Only young people can do this – elimination (purification of the body) of HPV occurs in 80% of diagnosed cases.
In older people, the pathology acquires a chronic course, and the formation of papillomas directly depends on the state of immunity. As soon as the immune system gives a serious malfunction, the latent virus enters the active phase, evidence of the appearance of epithelial growths.
If you just live and do nothing, HPV 31 progresses. Viral DNA not only affects, but integrates into the genetic material of cells, causing their transformation (mutation). The result of this is the growth of atypical cells, which are characteristic only of malignant neoplasms.
Manifestations in women
Most often, external manifestations of HPV type 31 in women are observed in the genital area. Papillomas are located:
- On the cervical canal;
- The surface of the labia;
- On the walls of the vagina;
- In the area of the urethra.
Pathological rashes with type 31 virus differ from those known by many leg papillomas. They are pink or yellowish spots, slightly rising above the level of the epithelium. As a rule, such plaques seed the outer part of the woman's genitals and are less likely to occur on the walls of the vagina. This form of pathology is called bowenoid papulosis.
The presence of genital neoplasms is not the only sign of activation of HPV 31. A woman may feel discomfort in the vagina, minor bleeding, uncharacteristic discharge, pain during, and especially after completion of coitus are possible.
If, after the onset of the first visible symptoms, treatment is not started, the risk of developing dysplasia (destruction of the mucous membranes), and over time, cervical cancer increases several times.
Symptoms in men
With the activation of HPV type 31 in men, as in women, characteristic rashes appear in the anogenital region. Elements of the rash are usually located:
- On the foreskin;
- On the crown of the penis;
- Cover the scrotum;
- Spread to the anus.
However, the nature of the rash itself is somewhat different from genital neoplasms in women. On the surface of the male genital organ, red weeping papules appear. Due to the constant presence of moisture, they bother the man for a long time, do not heal and cause discomfort. Uncharacteristic discharge often emanates an unpleasant odor. All these symptoms are united by one name – Bowen's disease.
It is possible to identify the presence of a virus in the body, as well as determine its genotype by two methods that give the most accurate result:
- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a 100% diagnostic method. For research, you can take not only blood, but also semen, vaginal discharge, urine. Using PCR, not only the presence of HPV in the body is determined, but also the direct genotype of the virus. Moreover, it does not matter at what stage the infection is latent or active it will not affect the accuracy of the result;
- The hybrid capture method or digen test is an informative, accurate method. For analysis, women take a scraping from the cervix, for men they make a fence from the urethral mucosa. The test is carried out to detect the type of HPV, as well as the viral load (the number of viral bodies in the studied secret).
If the result of the tests, a positive doctor can prescribe additional studies to identify atypical cells (after all, HPV 31 has a high degree of oncogenicity). Colposcopy can be performed for women, which allows you to perform a detailed examination of the cervix for the presence of pathological growths.
Then, according to the testimony, a biopsy is done, it can be performed both for a man and a woman with suspected malignant nature of the tumor.
If tests confirm the presence of HPV 31 in the patient’s body, treatment should not be delayed – each day of delay increases the risk of malignant growths. Unfortunately, it is impossible to completely eradicate the virus – therapy is aimed at suppressing its activity and eliminating the visible manifestations of the disease (papillomas).
HPV can be deactivated by taking the following medicines:
- Medicines with antiviral activity – Groprinosin, Isoprinosine, Cycloferon;
- Cytostatics (drugs are prescribed for high risk of malignant growths) – Podophyllin, Vinblastine, 5-Fluorouracil;
- Immune stimulants that enhance the production of one's own interferon (necessary to strengthen immunity) – Panavir, Immunomax, Lycopid;
- The complex of vitamins Aevit, Alphabet or others also helps to increase the body's defenses.
Destructive methods for getting rid of genital neoplasms – laser, radio wave removal, electrocoagulation. Excision with a scalpel is carried out only in the case of malignancy (degeneration) of growths.
Cryotherapy and necrotizing drugs do not recommend the use of relatively papillomas provoked by 31 types of HPV.
What to do next
After the end of therapy, it is important to maintain a positive result, and since HPV activity directly depends on the state of the immune system, it is necessary to regularly take measures to strengthen it. A diet rich in vitamins, hardening, physical education, giving up bad habits and timely treatment of diseases – these are what you need to maintain immunity.
In addition, if you have already been diagnosed with HPV 31, be sure to undergo PCR diagnostics at least twice a year, visit a gynecologist (urologist) and do not forget about safe sex.