Human papilloma virus, HPV
HPV (human papilloma virus) causes cutaneous and genital infections. A genital HPV infection can progress to cancer of the cervix, vagina, vulva, penis or anus. Additionally papilloma virus can cause head and neck cancer.
There are approximately a hundred known papilloma viruses. Slightly less than half of those can occur in the genital area and be contracted via the mucous membrane or skin of the genitals. The virus is usually spread during intercourse, and wearing a condom reduces the risk of infection. The best way to prevent infection is the HPV vaccine, which protects effectively from most of the papilloma virus types that cause malignant changes. The vaccine works best when it is given before the start of sexual activity. The HPV vaccine is included in the National Vaccination Programme for 5. and 6. year pupils. Additionally during 2021-2022 booster vaccines are also given to 7. through 9. year boys.