Everything You Need to Know About the High-Risk Strains of HPV

Feb 21, 2024 5 Minute Read

HPV, or Human Papillomavirus, consists of more than 200 individual viruses1, grouped together under the same umbrella. When it comes to understanding HPV, it's crucial to be aware of the different strains of the virus. Because not all HPV types and symptoms are created equal.

HPV, or Human Papillomavirus, consists of more than 200 individual viruses, grouped together under the same umbrella. When it comes to understanding HPV, it's crucial to be aware of the different strains of the virus. Because not all HPV types and symptoms are created equal.

 

The list of HPV strains are broadly classified into two categories: 'low risk' and 'high risk'. While the low-risk HPV strains may cause genital warts, the high-risk HPV strains are more sinister. Some strains are considered 'high risk' because they are oncogenic, i.e., can lead to cancers, including cervical cancer.

The High-Risk HPV Strains and Their Impact

 

High-Risk HPVSome Cancers Caused
  • HPV 16
  • HPV 18
  • HPV 31
  • HPV 33
  • HPV 35
  • HPV 39
  • HPV 45
  • HPV 51
  • HPV 52
  • HPV 56
  • HPV 58
  • HPV 59
  • Cervical Cancer


 

  • Vulvar Cancer


 

  • Vaginal Cancer


 

  • Anal Cancer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Certain HPV strains pose a significant risk of causing various cancers. There are 14 high-risk HPV types—HPV 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66, and 68. Out of these 12, HPV-16 and HPV-18 are the notorious duo responsible for most cases of HPV-related cancer.

 

WHO estimates that persistent infection with high-risk HPV is responsible for about 95% of all cervical cancer cases. Apart from cervical cancer, high-risk HPV strains can also lead to other cancers. For instance, HPV 16 has been identified as a risk factor for anal cancer cases. Moreover, HPV infection with high-risk types can also lead to vulvar and vaginal cancer.

Vaccine Against High-Risk HPV Strains

 

Amid the alarming statistics, there is one guiding light — HPV vaccination. The HPV vaccine helps protect against the high-risk strains HPV 16 and HPV 18. This helps protect against certain cancers caused by high-risk strains, such as cervical, vulvar, vaginal and anal cancers.

 

HPV vaccination is recommended for young adolescents starting age 9, and may benefit older individuals as well. You can consult with your doctor to determine the best course of vaccination for you.

Knowledge Empowers Us

 

Understanding HPV, particularly the high-risk strains, underscores the significance of prevention strategies such as vaccination. Comprehensive knowledge about these strains also highlights the need for extensive awareness campaigns to encourage wider acceptance of the HPV vaccine. 


Learning about HPV empowers us to make informed health decisions for ourselves and our loved ones. The knowledge about high-risk HPV strains isn't just information; it's ammunition in the fight against HPV-associated cancers, and a testament to the power of preventative healthcare.

 

Disclaimer: HPV - Human Papillomavirus. This information is intended for awareness purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor.

*Image for representation purpose only


IN-GSL-00883 - 20/2/2024 - 1/2/2026