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What is the difference between herpes and HPV?
 
There is a lot of confusion between herpes and HPV. This is because of the similarity of the overt symptoms. There are many other similarities besides, but the fact is that they are two distinct diseases. Blisters in the genital area are herpes symptoms, HPV commonly cause genital warts. One is not the cause of the other although a person with herpes may also get infected with genital warts and vice versa.
 
HPV or the human papillomavirus affects the skin and mucous membranes of the person infected. There are many types of HPV, only a few which cause genital warts. The danger here is that persistent infection with some types of HPV can lead to cervical cancer. Cancer causing HPV are usually the type which do not cause genital warts as a symptom.
 
Like herpes, HPV is also transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person. Another similarity lies in the fact that not all persons with the disease show HPV or herpes symptoms. HPV and herpes are often spread by people who don’t know that they have it. HPV has been found to be more prevalent in women, although men can also experience the symptoms and be carriers of the disease. 
 
Because many cases of HPV do not manifest symptoms, the presence of HPV is usually detected through a cervical pap smear. There is currently no medically accepted means of detecting the presence of the disease in men except through visual examination and the discovery of genital warts.
 
Another difference between herpes and HPV is that the blisters brought about by herpes disappears after the virus has run its course and after treatment. Genital warts do not go away. They have to be surgically removed.
Both herpes and HPV are incurable, but unlike herpes there are certain vaccines available that can protect a person from being infected with certain types of HPV.
 
An example of such a vaccine is Gardasil, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2006. This vaccine protects against HPV types which have been found to be the cause of seventy percent of cases of cervical cancer and ninety percent of the cases of genital warts. 

Should a person suspect that he or she is infected by herpes or HPV a wise course of action would be to consult a medical specialist and submit to testing and immediate treatment.

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