Although there is no specific HPV anti-viral medication, the lesions are amenable to a variety of treatments if discovered early enough. Screening tests in women (and in some high risk men) are available. Preventive measures include education, appropriate use of condoms, newborn circumcision (a decision made by parent and health care provider), and vaccination.Orange County AAP Chapter, CME Committee Chair, Dr. Harry Pellman
There is no treatment for the virus itself, but there are treatments for the problems that HPV can cause:
- Visible genital warts may remain the same, grow more numerous, or go away on their own. They can be removed by the patient with medications. They can also be treated by a health care provider. Some people choose not to treat warts. No one treatment is better than another.
- Abnormal cervical cells (found on a Pap test) often become normal over time, but they can sometimes turn into cancer. If they remain abnormal, these cells can usually be treated to prevent cervical cancer from developing. This may depend on the severity of the cell changes, the woman’s age and past medical history, and other test results. It is critical to follow up with testing and treatment, as recommended by a doctor.
- Cervical cancer is most treatable when it is diagnosed and treated early. Problems found can usually be treated, depending on their severity and on the woman’s age, past medical history, and other test results. Most women who get routine cervical cancer screening and follow up as told by their provider can find problems before cancer even develops. Prevention is always better than treatment.
- Other HPV-associated cancers are also more treatable when diagnosed and treated early.
- Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP), a rare condition in which warts grow in the throat, can be treated with surgery or medicines. It can sometimes take many treatments or surgeries over a period of years.