Types of Genital HPV Infections

by David · 8 comments

Many people believe that genital HPV infections only come in a single variation of “bad.”

But this isn’t true — It’s actually a common misconception amongst many sexually active young people that genital warts is a “one size fits all” kind of disease. Truth is, there are many different strains of the genital HPV infections and depending on what strain you are infected with, your treatment might work better or worse than someone else infected by another strain.

It’s worth mentioning that 90% of all genital warts cases are caused by just two strains of genital HPV — 6 and 11.

Genital HPV can develop into genital warts, shown here on the anus

An advanced genital HPV infection around the anus. Click to enlarge.

Genital HPV Infections Vary in Strength

Unfortunately, the human papillomavirus is a very advanced infection, capable of morphing itself into new strains caused by environmental factors. For instance, if there is a certain antibiotic prevalent in an infected individual’s body, the genital HPV virus can potentially use that antibiotic to develop an immunity for it, creating a “super virus.”

Obviously being infected by a super virus is not a good thing. Especially in cases of cervical cancer stemming from genital HPV, the last thing you want a virus doing in your body is developing an immunity to the medicine being used to fight the cancer.

Medical technology is battling these super viruses every day.

Merck & Co has released a vaccine called Gardasil that protects against Human Papillomavirus (HPV) strains, 6, 11, 16, and 18. The only problem is that the vaccine cannot treat the virus if it already exists in the patient. The vaccine can only be used as a preventive measure and this is why it is so important to get your children vaccinated before they become sexually active. The vaccine is approved for adolescent women and is also being tested on young men. Hopefully one day we can find a vaccine that will work on all people, regardless of whether or not they have been infected by genital HPV in the past.

What genital HPV strains are responsible for what?

HPV strains 6 and 11 are the two strains known for causing the majority of genital warts cases. Strains 16 and 18 are the deadlier forms that are notorious for causing cervical cancer. Nearly 80% of all infected individuals in the United States are under the age of 30.

There are tons of questions floating around about genital warts. We have a very popular page called Frequently Asked Questions about Genital Warts that lists many popular questions about the HPV virus sent in by our readers. Feel free to take a glance at it. You might discover something you hadn’t known before.

Genital HPV Infection means Genital Warts?

No, not necessarily. In fact, out of all the people infected by the human papillomavirus, only a small percentage (estimated to be less than 5%) actually develop the nasty cauliflower-like bumps known as genital warts. Scientists have said that a person’s immune system plays a major role in whether or not their body can fight off the virus before it develops into full blown genital warts. The weaker the immune system, the more of a chance the person has for growing genital wart clusters.

Protecting our immune systems from genital HPV infections

Ask a question about genital HPV infections below

Send your question about genital warts to us and we'll answer it on this page!

Because of this, it is hugely important that we all take care of our bodies and eat right and exercise as frequently as possible. Even maintaining a steady diet can be the difference needed to fight off the genital HPV virus before it turns into genital warts. It gives you something to think about.

Already infected individuals are subject to the same issue. An infected person with a healthy immune system will suffer from less outbreaks and will have a lesser chance of spreading the virus to another sexual partner when it is dormant.

You should feel free to share this information with friends on Facebook or Twitter using the share buttons below. By spreading the knowledge about the types of genital HPV infections, we can help cut down on the needless infections due to ignorance in the next decade.

Have questions about HPV?

If you have any additional questions about how genital HPV infections affect our bodies, don’t hesitate to ask them in the forums or by sending us an email, or by simply leaving a comment using the form below.

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  • jodi

    question: can hpv 6 shown in blood test per dr. is that possible my bro got head and neck cancer from this virus strain?

  • Jose Delgado

    Look, I am a young teen that has just noticed I have some small coli-flower type bumps. At first it seems like some sort of hemorrhoid but its not going away and I haven’t had these bumps before, and I’m starting to freak out a lot. I really hope its not some sort of genital wart or HIV infection. I really need help with this and to see what I can do? I dont have medical insurance and I’m practically broke. If i need some medication or something to help me stop this, please let me know. I don’t want this to get worse. Its been getting itchy throughout the days, and every time i use the restroom I bleed, and I really am tired of that. Please please help me.

  • haykay

    hi hun dont worry bout bein broke just get yaself down the docs asap… whats more important worring bout how much its gunna cost ya in money or how ya life cud b ruined by this?

  • abby

    kapag my genital warts po ba ibigsbihin po ba nunHIV POSITIVE na
    gusto ko lang po malman

  • abby

    my question is .. if you have Genital warts it means HIV POSITIVE?? or only infection?? i want to know

    • Abby,

      The presence of genital warts does not mean HIV+. They are two different diseases. That being said, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get tested for a full STD panel while you’re at the doctor’s office.

    • Hi Abby,

      No. Having genital warts does not mean you are HIV Positive. HIV is a completely different virus.

  • SANDY

    OUR G. DAUGHTER IS 5 MOS PREGNANT AND JUST FOUND OUT SHE HAS HPV?IS A VAGINAL DELIVERY SAFE?SHE HAS GENITAL WARTS.ALSO IS IT SAFE FOR MY HUSBAND AND I TO BE AROUND HER–USING TOILET-HAND TOWELS.I WOULD NEVER HURT HER FEELINGS-SHE IS ONLY 20 YRS OLE-CAN THE BABY POSSIBLY GET THIS AT BIRTH.THANK U FOR UR RESPONSE

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