In most people, HPV infection is asymptomatic because the immune system ensures that the infection returns on its own. The average time to eliminate the virus from the body is about 2 years. At this time, the infected person who has sex, and unknowingly, infects their partners.
With a weakened immune system, the disease presents itself in clinical form as chronic HPV infection. It can also lead to precancerous lesions and tumors.
The symptoms of HPV infection in clinical form:
- Verrugas genitais – verrugas nos órgãos urogenitais dos homens, ou seja, no pênis (geralmente sob o prepúcio e a parte central) e na virilha, no escroto e ânus. As verrugas genitais ocorrem sob a forma de nódulo plana, convexa ou couve-flor. Normalmente, as mudanças aparecem em algumas semanas após o contato com a pessoa infectada.
The symptoms of HPV infection as pre-cancerous lesions:
- Bowenoid papulosis – multiple small flat or velvety papules with a color ranging from pink to brown located on the glans in the form of agglomerations
- Bowen’s disease – a form of pre-invasive skin cancer with multiple or single agglomerations: brown, blue-red, with a smooth, lustrous surface, mainly in the glans
Symptoms of Chronic HPV Infection:
- Penile cancer – shows up as changes in skin thickness, color, such as lumps or lumps on the penis, which is also accompanied by bleeding and pain; Firstly, the disease may be asymptomatic
- Anal cancer – the main symptoms are itching, pain, bleeding and discharge from the anus, accompanied by swollen lymph glands or groin; the disease can also occur without symptoms.
Diagnosis of HPV presence
The diagnosis is based on a medical examination, where a specialist examines the infected sites. In order to identify invisible warts, a solution of vinegar (5% acetic acid) is additionally used.
In suspected latent infection the test is used to test the presence of HPV DNA. The examination can be done in doctors’ offices and in good laboratories; Test kits can also be ordered over the Internet. The most recommended is the test with the possibility of genotyping, which allows to determine accurately the types of virus of high and low risk. In the test a sample is taken from the glans groove with a brush of the glans groove. It is recommended not to wash the penis for about 12 hours before the test.