Pathophysiology , or natural history of HPV disease 


 Electron Microscope Image of the Human Papilloma Virus  Source: Laboratory of Tumor Virus Biology

Electron Microscope Image of the Human Papilloma Virus

Source: Laboratory of Tumor Virus Biology

Viruses are really just packets of genetic material with an envelope. I like to think of their genetic material like code...... malicious code. When we acquire HPV, it bonds to our cervix since its outer envelope has a special affinity for cervix tissue. HPV then splices its DNA into our DNA. DNA is in fact sometimes called "GENETIC CODE" and it "codes for" the precise instructions for a cell's behavior. When viral DNA infects a cervix cell, it commandeers the cell for its own purposes. The cell is instructed to grow larger and multiply faster. It also is instructed to manufacture more viruses.

All this turns into a dysfunctional patch of tissue on the cervix. It may or may not be visible to the unaided eye. It may or may not cause spotting. It may or may not be caught on a pap. But it would be caught on a molecular test. And based on the virus subtype, degree of cellular and architectural change, as well as the patient's age circumstance and history, a treatment would be devised, again by an evidence based protocol.