People often get confused when they hear Human Immuno Deficiency Virus (HIV) and HPV – and assumed they are the same disease pronounced differently. However, that is not the case. HIV and HPV are completely different types of diseases that even have their own causing agents.
What is HIV?
Human Immuno Deficiency Virus is a type of virus that spreads from one person to another via sexual contact, including vaginal and anal sex. Typically HIV progresses into three types of stages and symptoms change as the stage advances. Following are three stages of this STD –
- Acute HIV infection
- Chronic HIV
HIV cannot be transmitted orally and thus oral HIV is rare. HIV is one of the most commonly reported STDs in the United States.
What is HPV?
Unlike HIV, HPV is a completely different type of virus named Human Papillomavirus. But they have the common carrier of transmission – that is through sexual contact, be it anal, oral, or vaginal sex. Even touching your eyes or having contact with your mouth after having sex can result in the transmission of the virus.
Symptoms of the HPV can appear anywhere on the body and the most commonly seen sign is warts – small outgrown flesh-like on the genitals and/or in and around the oral cavity.
Both types of STDs tend to maintain a low profile, so you may not notice any visible symptoms in the initial stage which makes it harder for you to detect and get diagnosed.
Symptoms of HIV
HIV damages your immune CD4 cells that are responsible for immune and protection against foreign infection. Symptoms in the initial stages include flu-like symptoms – however, it is always a good idea to get tested and to know for sure if you are sexually active.
Acute stage HIV symptoms include:
- sore throat
- swollen glands
- joint and muscle pains
- stomach upset
During the second stage, signs may disappear and you may seem to be healthy, thus the second HIV stage is also known as Asymptomatic HIV infection or clinical latency. But the HIV virus keeps depleting your CD$ immune cells, causing damages to your immune system and leading to the final stage of AIDS.
Final stage AIDS symptoms include:
- serious illness
- persistent cough
- chronic diarrhea
- weight loss
- purplish spot in the skin
- night sweats
- yeast infection
- neurological symptoms (balance problem, seizures, memory loss, or confusion)
Symptoms of HPV
HPV symptoms are warts – small outgrown painless flesh that pops out of the skin – they can either be on genitals or oral cavity or both. Since they are more than 100 types of HPV strains, each of them has its own consequences on our bodies. But there are about 14 of them that are the highly risky type which may cause severe complications like cancer. Most of the time warts and the least-infectious HPV STD are cured with antibiotics or physical removal of warts with cream or minor surgery. But if your immunity is weak and has the habit of smoking and alcoholic conditions then you are more prone and have a hard time recovering.
Leaving HPV untreated can lead to cervical cancer in women and other cancers around the genitals like anus (anal cancer), vulva and vagina, and penis (penile cancer).
Are HPV and HIV the same thing?
Both HPV and HIV share similar symptoms and transmission ways but they are completely different. HIV is more of flu-like symptoms in the initial phases and followed by no symptoms and then final stages arrive with more severe signs like weight loss, diarrhea, and neurological symptoms, on the other hand, HPV is painless and appears as warts around the genitals and the mouth which can lead to health complications like cancers.
Now, which is more common? Is it HPV or HIV? Well, HPV STD seems to be more common than HIV. According to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly every sexually active person having more than one sex partner will contract the HPV virus at least once in their lifetime.
Can HPV cause HIV?
Just because HIV and Human Papillomavirus have viruses at the end of their name it doesn’t imply that these STDs can open the doors to one another. Also, these are completely different from Herpes (Herpes Simplex Virus). All three types are completely different from one another. When you have HPV and get engaged sexually with HIV infected, then and only then do you have a chance of acquiring HIV.
Which is worse – HIV or HPV?
HIV and HPV are not bacteria-caused infections that can be terminated with the help of antibiotics or drugs. They are caused by two different viruses which have no fighting agent discovered yet. Therefore, there is no cure for both HIV and HPV. HIV tends to cause slow damages to the body since the appearance of the symptoms, but the signs and the level of viruses play can be controlled with antiretroviral therapy drugs if the disease is addressed in its initial phase.
Over the long run, both can cause long-term complications to your health. HIV and HPV can lead to neurological disorders if ignored to get treated in the initial phases.