Is HPV herpes? Can HPV turn into herpes? Understanding the differences between certain sexually transmitted diseases can be difficult but it doesn't have to be! Today we talk you through some of the common misconceptions between HPV and herpes.
HPV is not herpes. While both HPV and herpes are classified as viral sexually transmitted diseases, they are not the same thing.
HPV is caused by a group of viruses called human papillomavirus (HPV). Herpes is caused by the herpes simplex viruses.
There are some similarities between HPV and herpes that might lead people to think that they are the same sexually transmitted disease.
For instance, both HPV and herpes can be transmitted via intimate skin-to-skin contact. Both can lead to bumps and lumps in the place of infection and both may be symptomless.
This is a hard question to answer because it depends on each person's unique case. Arguably, HPV could be classified as worse than herpes due to the fact that HPV may lead to cancer, and herpes can be easily managed using anti-viral medication.
Though HPV may be cleared by the body itself, there are some cancer causing strains of HPV including: 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66, and 68. HPV16 and HPV18 are the most common cancer-causing strains of HPV.
HPV causes almost all cases of cervical cancer. HPV may also cause cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and oropharynx (back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils) according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Read: Does HPV go away?
Herpes, in severe cases may also cause distress and upheaval in those living with either oral or genital herpes. Herpes may either be dormant or active. When herpes is dormant, it means that you are not experiencing any symptoms, however it does not mean that your body has cleared the virus. During outbreaks, those living with the condition may experience pain and discomfort, blisters and lesions.
HPV is "better" than herpes in the fact that once it clear or is treated, it is no longer an issue, unless you are reinfected. Herpes on the other hand cannot be cured but it can be effectively managed.
In sum, it is almost impossible to decide whether HPV or herpes is worse. If you have been diagnosed HPV and herpes, know that both can be treated and the majority of people who are diagnosed will go on to live healthy lives.
Read: HPV symptoms in men
HPV cannot turn into HSV (herpes). HPV and HSV (herpes) are different sexually transmitted disease and cannot "transform" into one-another.
The most important thing to remember is that both HPV and HSV may be transmitted even in the absence of symptoms.
Prevention methods should be in place whether or not you are experiencing symptoms. Wearing a condom is the best defence against getting a sexually transmitted disease.
Both HPV and HSV can be transmitted even while wearing a condom, which is why it is so important to get tested on a regular basis.
Usually there are no signs or symptoms of HPV.
When symptoms of HPV do appear, they may include: