The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) describes more than one hundred similar viruses commonly transmitted through sexual intercourse worldwide. Unfortunately, medical researchers and doctors have been unable to invent a cure for the virus, which means people with severe symptoms from an HPV infection have the highest risk of developing cancer or genital warts.
On the upside, most HPV-infected people experience little to no symptoms. Not only that, but their immune systems can usually eradicate the HPV infection from their bodies before it causes them any harm. And if people experience any symptoms from the infection, there are HPV treatments available to minimize them.
People not currently infected with HPV are encouraged to get their HPV vaccination shots as soon as possible, especially if they are sexually active. It is the best chance they’ll have of preventing new infections and the potential development of cancer.
Can Antibiotics Eradicate HPV?
No, because antibiotics target bacterial infections rather than viral infections like HPV. And since no clinically approved antiviral medications are available for treating HPV, you can only rely on your immune system and the HPV vaccine to protect yourself.
How Long Do HPV Infections Stay in the Body?
No one can determine the exact amount of time it will take because some people’s immune systems are stronger than others. So all you can do is wait for your immune system to eliminate the HPV infection from your body naturally.
The good news is that 90% of HPV-infected people will see their HPV infections disappear within six months to two years following the initial infection date. Luckily, most people with robust immune systems see their HPV infections clear up in six months.
It is always better when a person’s immune system can clear the HPV infection quickly. After all, the longer a high-risk HPV infection remains in the body, the higher the chance of cancer developing. Only about 1% of HPV-infected people develop cancer, so the odds are in your favor.
What Affects the Immune System’s Ability to Clear the HPV Infection?
When we talk about a strong immune system, we refer to people who eat a steady diet of nutritious foods and exercise daily. These people also have no underlying health problems or conditions that could negatively impact their immune systems.
If you don’t eat right or exercise regularly, you should consider making lifestyle changes to strengthen your immune system. Even though lifestyle changes are not guaranteed to prevent HPV infections or HPV-related cancer, they will undoubtedly increase your chances of building a stronger immune system to avoid long-term infections. Then you’ll have a reduced risk of developing cancer from the HPV infection.
In addition, it would be wise to quit smoking tobacco products like cigarettes because they reduce the strength of your immune system. Everyone knows smoking tobacco increases the risk of developing chronic health conditions and complications. But, it can also cause an HPV infection to inflict more severe consequences on a smoker, including cancer and genital warts.
Therefore, quitting smoking can go a long way in strengthening your immune system and speeding up its ability to clear infections from the body, including high-risk and low-risk HPV infections.
Is the HPV Vaccine as Good as a Cure?
No, it is not the same thing. An HPV vaccine doesn’t eliminate a preexisting HPV infection in the body. Instead, it prevents you from getting an HPV infection in the future, especially high-risk HPV infections that could stimulate the development of cancer or genital warts. So if you already have an HPV infection, getting the vaccine won’t do anything to eliminate it.
Contrary to popular belief, you cannot get genital warts or HPV from the HPV vaccine because it doesn’t contain the live virus. That is why it is perfectly safe for people to take it under their doctor’s guidance.
Will There Ever Be an HPV Cure in the Future?
Medical researchers are currently working on developing an HPV cure. However, there is no telling when or how long it will take for the HPV cure to be fully developed and released to the public. The development of the HPV cure is in the very early stages, so don’t expect an HPV cure to come out anytime soon.
Researchers at leading universities have been studying how HPV infections interact with cells in the body. They have discovered that HPV is able to infect cells with the help of a naturally occurring protein called STAT3. Since HPV stimulates the individual enzymes responsible for releasing the STAT3 protein, the virus can infect the cells quickly and then duplicate the infected cells. That is how the virus spreads and grows in the body.
Fortunately, scientists have been able to create drug treatments to target these specific enzymes and proteins so that HPV cannot infect too many cells. For example, one promising drug treatment combines two antiviral drugs for treating HIV: ritonavir and lopinavir. This combination creates the HPV treatment lopimune, which has shown good results in numerous clinical trials for eradicating HPV.
HPV Cure Conclusion
Getting the HPV vaccine is the best thing to do if you are not currently infected. Preventative measures are always the most effective against future HPV infections.
However, if you already have an HPV infection, ask your doctor about getting a therapeutic vaccine to stimulate your immune system. Therapeutic vaccines are still in development, but they are supposed to help people’s immune systems better control a current infection.