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Human Papillomavirus and Herpes Learn Distinctions and Similarities

5 Mins read
  • More than 100 variations of Human Papillomavirus exist, and almost 40 of them can infect human genitals and mouth.
  • HPV can cause cancer.
  • Fortunately, the HPV vaccine is already helping people with HPV infection.

Does Human Papillomavirus illuminate Herpes infection? Are both ailments the same or have distinctions in them? To what degree they hold similarities or dissimilarities?

The questions are critical as they share some identical characteristic symptoms. For the given reason, you might find hardship differentiating in them. 

Reading this content will let you learn about the similarities and differences between the herpes virus and the Human Papillomavirus. 

The Definition – HPV vs. Herpes Simplex

#1 Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV, otherwise known to be a Human Papillomavirus, is an infection of the genitals and sometimes mouth. It mostly occurs in sexually active individuals and is more common than Herpes infection. Tagged as sexually transmitted infections

 (STI), people typically get it through sexual interplays. 

More than 100 variations of Human Papillomavirus exist, and almost 40 of them can infect human genitals and mouth. 

The USA witnesses around 14 million new HPV events yearly. 

#2 Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)

Herpes simplex virus is also a common STI harming billions of individuals globally. It is a variety of contagious infection that illustrates the presence of either HSV1 or HSV2. 

What type of HSV you have are determined by the area it has affected. Usually, HSV-1 means you have oral Herpes, and HSV-2 is related to Herpes Genitalis.

Human Herpes Virus has a reach to your genitals, mouth, back, eye, whitlow, and brain. 

HPV and HSV Hold Multiple Similarities

Similarity between herpes virus and hpv
Presently, No treatment deletes both viruses permanently. It interprets “No Cure” for both infections. IMG Credit: Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

#1 They can reside dormant

The Human Herpesvirus and HPV can hibernate in your body for years. They spend time in you as being asleep, but, when unusual circumstances cause them to be awake, they appear with many nightmares. 

#2 Both are prevalent STIs

Tagging both viruses with the term “Sexually transmitted infection” is entirely justified. Both viruses are transferable by sexual coition. The means of transmission could be vaginal, oral, and anal sex. Similarities also go further by stating that HPV and HSV can pass even if no symptoms present. 

#3 Herpes and HPV represent Warts

The presence of warts is the common attribute shared by these two viruses. This symptom often makes people dubious about what type of infection they have. When this happens, some tests may be required to confirm the scenario. 

#4 Both Infections have No cure

Presently, No treatment deletes both viruses permanently. It interprets “No Cure” for both infections. However, a remedy to alleviate the complications is present. Most outbreaks of HPV do not require medical intervention as they resolve their own. Herpes treatment severely relies on Antivirals like valacyclovir and Acyclovir. 

#5 Both Viruses Hold A Very Low Death Rate

Herpes and HPV are not deadly until some circumstances occur. Neonatal Herpes and acute Herpes encephalitis infrequently occur, but, when they rise, they may cause mortality. 

Some strains of HPV are correlated with cancer and may ultimately cause you to demise if not treated well. 

The differences between HPV and Herpes 

#1 HPV causes cancer But not HSV

Some species of HPV deliberately start causing damage to the cells. This damage causes the uncontrolled growth of the cancerous cells. Anus, Vagina, Vulva, Rectum, Cervix, Tongue, and Oropharynx are susceptible to HPV related cancer.

Herpesvirus 1 and 2, however, are not associated with any Cancer. 

#2 Immunity clears HPV But Not HSV

The most exciting difference between HPV and Herpes is – In the 90% of HPV cases, the immune system removes the HPV virus within 1-2 years. 

However, the herpes virus is a tricky strain that does not leave space for the immune system to extirpate them out of the body.

#3 Vaccination

We currently don’t have the Herpes vaccine though scientists are doing hard to bring it to the light. 

Fortunately, the HPV vaccine is already helping people with HPV infection. They not only prevent you from being ill but also reduce your risk of getting cancer. CDC recommends two vaccinations at the age of 11 and 12. The interval between two vaccines must be at least six months. 

#4 HSV causes more complications than HPV

A patient with HSV undergoes more discomforts than an HPV sick person. Pain, Itching, Burning sensation, Flu-like symptoms, oozing lesions, and malaise are common in HSV. HPV patients don’t get them. It represents Genital warts that generally resolve without medical intervention. 

#5 HPV and Herpes During Pregnancy

If you are a pregnant woman having HPV, you might get nervous about it. Right? Well, HPV, in most cases, does not affect your pregnancy. Neither your child has a significant risk of contracting the virus.

Your doctor may not prescribe any medication until they are very broad or bothersome. 

However, Herpes Virus is more dangerous than HPV. If you contract HSV during the pregnancy, it may affect your pregnancy and poses a significant threat to your baby. If neonatal Herpes occurs, it is an ominous sign.

HPV does not require treatment, but HSV does require treatment with a combination of medications, majorly with Acyclovir.

Risk Factors – HPV and Herpes

According to the CDC, anyone who is sexually active can contract HPV and HSV infections. Your risk of getting the HPV infection is significant with compromised immunity. 

Using barriers does not provide 100% protection, but deploying condoms can significantly reduce your vulnerability to both types of STIs. 

Your risk factor of getting Herpes and HPV is more significant when you have multiple sex partners. Limiting them will surely help you cut your chance. 

If your skin is broken or has cut on it, you need to cover it with barriers before you get in touch with an ill person. 

How To Prevent Herpes and HPV?

HPV and Herpes both are STIs and are highly contagious. It can easily transmit if you involve in unsafe sexual activities. To some extent using barriers can help you prevent both HPV and Herpes. Limiting your intimate partners is advised.

Getting the shots of vaccination is a safe and effective way to prevent yourself from HPV. Herpes vaccine is not available. 

If there are visible HPV warts or Herpes fever blisters, abstinence from sex is advised.


Can Herpes Cause Cervical Cancer?

No, Herpes does not cause or is associated with Cervical Cancer. However, you need to be cautious if you have HPV as it can induce Cervical Cancer.

How long can HPV lie Dormant?

Human Papillomavirus can lie dormant for years without causing symptoms. Your immune system can clear the virus within two years. Still, you might never realize that you had HPV ever.

Can You Get HPV twice?

It can happen but in sporadic cases. When any virus infects you, your immune system creates antibodies against them. When they again try to infect you, the immune system promptly identifies and kills them. However, studies reported that the immune system remembers the HPV antibody for a short period so you can again get the same virus. Please note that it rarely occurs.

Should I be worried that I have HPV?

Typically, HPV isn’t a big deal for most individuals. They get cleared by your immune system. However, some dreaded reality is also connected with HPV because it can cause cancer.

Can You Have Herpes and HPV concomitantly?

It’s a matter of fact that if you contract HSV and HPV, you will get them at the same time. Prevent yourself from being exposed to the viruses.

Can HPV look like Herpes?

HPV and Herpes both can cause genital lesions. HPV prompts genital Warts, and Herpes pops up fever blisters. They can be distinguishable, but sometimes people get confused about identifying them.

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