Q:

What do symptoms of HPV look like?

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Quick Answer

Genital, common, plantar or flat warts are the most common visible symptoms of HPV, according to Mayo Clinic. HPV has more than 100 variations in symptoms that range from no symptoms to cancer.

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Full Answer

Many individuals with human papillomavirus (HPV) do not notice any abnormal symptoms or health problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In some situations, it takes years before the first symptoms of HPV appear. A woman may receive a first indication of HPV by an abnormal Pap result. The recommendation is for women over 21 years old to receive a Pap test at least every three years, explains Mayo Clinic.

Of the 79 million Americans believed to be infected with HPV, only about 360,000 display warts. A test does not currently exist to check the status of HPV. Vaccines are offered and recommended for all 11- and 12-year-old children. Catch-up vaccines are offered up to age 26 for women and bisexual men.

Latex condoms are highly recommended during every sexual encounter, according to the CDC. HPV can infect areas that are not covered by a condom. These areas include mucous membranes located in the genital areas and the skin.

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