Article Abstract

Human papillomavirus infection in adolescents

Authors: Nneka Holder, Nicole Ahmed, Maria Demma Cabral

Abstract

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a family of viruses with several strains or types. Each type is associated with several conditions ranging from benign (such as common warts) to more severe conditions such as genital warts, vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia and invasive carcinoma of cervical epithelial cells. Cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in women worldwide. The virus invades epithelial cells enabling its evasion of the host immune systems due to certain characteristics. HPV is spread by intimate contact with an infected partner. HPV is one of the most common sexually-transmitted infections (STI) worldwide. There is now a vaccine that offers primary prevention against HPV infections. Effective and timely administration of this vaccine is crucial towards decreasing disease burden of HPV-induced genitourinary cancers. Unique approaches may need to be considered to increase uptake of the HPV vaccine.