HIV vs. HPV: What you should know

HIV vs. HPV: What you should know

In a video from MSNBC on Thursday, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates mentioned that President Donald Trump asked him about the differences between HIV and HPV.

He said the President asked him the question twice during their meetings in 2017 and 2018.

The news has been reported by many media channels, and people are curious why the President ask Bill Gates the question.

But seriously, what are the differences between HIV and HPV? This is important because both diseases can strongly harm our health.

HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is the virus that causes AIDS. The virus can attack the immune system by destroying a type of white blood cells (CD4+ T cells) vital to fight against infection.

When the T cells are destroyed, people will be vulnerable to other infections, diseases or complications.

HPV, or human papillomavirus, is the most common sexually transmitted inflection in the USA. A persistent HPV infection is linked to high risk of cervical cancer and genital warts.

HIV and HPV are transmitted in different ways:

HIV can be transmitted via blood and body fluid. So sex, sharing needles or syringes, pregnancy (mother to child), being stuck with an HIV-contaminated needle can transmit the disease.

HPV, on the other hand, is transmitted through sexual behavior.

They two diseases also have different symptoms:

People with HIV can have various symptoms, including headache, fever, tiredness, sore throat, rash, muscle and joint pain, night sweats and diarrhea.

People with HPV mostly will get warts in different parts of the body depending on the type of HPV.

It can be genital warts, common warts on hands, fingers or elbows, plantar warts on heels and flat warts on the face or legs.

HIV and HPV require different treatment:

HIV treatment involves taking medicines that slow the progression of the virus in your body.

The drugs used to treat HIV are called antiretrovirals (ARV). Often These ARV drugs are combined together. this combination therapy is called antiretroviral therapy (ART).

Although cannot cure HIV, the ARV drugs can keep the patients healthy for many years, and greatly reduces the chance of transmitting HIV to other people if taken consistently and correctly.

Because ARV drugs have strongly reduced the linked between HIV and death, they are recommended to all people living with HIV.

HPV treatment is quite different. First, many people with HPV infection don’t need treatment, because the infection clears up on its own and doesn’t make people sick.

Second, if HPV causes abnormal cell changes, several treatment options are available. Doctors can freeze the abnormal cells, remove the abnormal areas via biopsy , burn away abnormal cells, or remove all abnormal cells via an electrical current.

Finally, the prevention of HIV and HPV are different:

To prevent HIV, you should be careful about sex. This includes having less risky sex, limiting sexual partners, knowing their HIV status and using condoms. And never share needles or syringes with others.

To prevent HPV, you need to get HPV vaccination. Two vaccinations, Cervarix and Gardasil, are for women and men, respectively.

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