During the World Cervical Cancer Awareness Week, our Dr. Konstantin Icev answers the most frequently asked questions about the HPV virus

January 22-28 marks “Cervical Cancer Awareness Week.” Cervical cancer (RGM) is the second most common malignant disease in women in the world and in the Republic of Macedonia. Over 80% of cervical cancer cases and deaths from this disease are registered in developing countries. According to information from the Institute of Public Health, cervical cancer most often occurs in women aged 30-45 years. *

Dr. Konstantin Icev, Head of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Diagnostics at Avicenna Laboratory, on the occasion of World Awareness Week for RGM, answers the most frequently asked questions about the HPV virus.

What is HPV?
Doctor’s Answer: DNA viruses of the Papillomaviridae family. The genotypes that are important to human medicine are called HPV (Human papillomavirus).
They are the cause of genital infections that are very common in the sexually active population, about 40 million cases per year. Many people infected with HPV have no symptoms or signs of infection, while others cause changes called papillomas or genital warts that lead to cervical cancer, which is also associated with cancer of the vagina, vulva, anus. , penis and oropharynx

How can I get HPV?
Doctor’s Answer: If you are sexually active, you can become infected with HPV. It is transmitted through genital contact, usually through vaginal or anal sex. Most people who are infected do not know they have the virus or that they can pass it on to their partner. It is important to know that condoms do not provide 100% protection against HPV, because the virus is also found in the skin around the genitals, it can very easily pass from a man’s genital area to a woman’s vagina, vulva or anus.

Does HPV cause cervical cancer?
Doctor’s Answer:
In most cases (9 out of 10) the immune system will fight off the virus and the HPV infection will go away on its own.
However, when HPV infection persists for some time, cancer (cancer of the cervix or other parts of the body) can develop over the years.

Can cervical cancer be (prevented) prevented?
Doctor’s answer:
Yes. There are tests that can detect early signs before symptoms develop. In this way, the problem will be found and solved before it develops into cancer.
What is the difference between a PAP test and an HPV test?
Doctor’s answer: Both tests allow cervical cancer screening. The PAP test looks for precancerous changes in the cells. The HPV test detects and genotypes the HPV virus that causes these changes.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends HPV detection and typing in the population for screening and prevention of cancer.

Will I get cervical cancer if I have HPV?
Doctor’s answer:
If you follow the advice and instructions of a gynecologist for proper testing and treatment, the risk of getting cancer is reduced to a very small percentage. If you have HPV, your gynecologist will recommend more frequent check-ups and tests, in order to find any changes early and to treat them appropriately. Therefore, follow the advice of your gynecologist.

If I have HPV, will I be able to get pregnant and have a healthy baby?
Answer by a doctor:
The presence of HPV does not reduce the chance of pregnancy, but it could spread to the baby (occurrence of respiratory papilloma of the larynx).
However, if you need treatment for abnormal cervical cells (caused by HPV), the treatment itself can affect your chances of getting pregnant. Consult your gynecologist about this.

Where can I get an HPV test?
Doctor’s answer:
Proper diagnosis of HPV is of paramount importance and crucial for the patient’s further treatment.
The Avicenna Laboratory performs state-of-the-art tests, with Multiplex real-time PCR technology, Anyplex ™ II HPV28 from the manufacturer Seegene (South Korea), for highly sensitive and specific molecular detection and genotyping of HPV virus (Human papillomavirus). The only qualitative and semi-quantitative clinically proven test recommended by the World Health Organization. This type of test detects and individually genotypes the following types of HPV:
(16, 18, 26, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 53, 56, 58, 59, 66, 68, 69, 73, 82)
(6,11, 40, 42, 43, 44, 54, 61, 70)

These HPV genotypes are responsible for over 97% of cases of cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer. The tests are based on internal control based on the detection of the human β-globin gene, which completely eliminates the possibility of false negative results.

The tests are validated and CE certified, they work with fully automated Real Time PCR instruments