People often get confused when they hear Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) and HPV – and assumed they are the same disease pronounced differently. However, that is not the case. Herpes and HPV are completely different types of diseases that even have their own causing agents.
What is Herpes?
Herpes Simplex Virus is a type of virus that spreads from one person to another via sexual contact, including oral and anal sex. Typically Herpes is classified into two types depending on the place where the infection and symptoms occur. Following are two strains of this STD –
- Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1)
- Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-2)
The first strain HSV-1 is a type that infected the oral cavity and causes oral symptoms. HSV-1 is also commonly referred to as Oral Herpes. The later type of HSV causes symptoms in genital areas in both sexes – HSV-2 is also commonly known as Genital Herpes.
What is HPV?
Unlike Herpes, 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 the type of STDs tend to maintain a low profile, that you may not notice any visible symptoms in the initial stage which makes it harder for you to detect and get diagnosed.
Symptoms of Herpes
Herpes Simplex Virus causes oozing sores or blisters, or itching or pain in the infected area – mouth and/or the genitals. When you get in touch with the infected person that has some kind of blisters around the genital or mouth, you can also get infected. Symptoms can be mild in the initial stages and resemble ingrown hairs, other skin conditions like pimples, and flu-like diseases – however, it is always a good idea to get tested and to know for sure if you are sexually active.
Leaving Herpes undetected and untreated can lead to severe health complications such as Urinary Tract Infections (UTI), and other kidney-related problems. Rectal inflammation can be seen in untreated Herpes in men and sometimes it can lead to Meningitis – a type of inflammation in the brain and spinal fluid.
Pregnant women who are infected with Herpes STD can transmit the newborn baby with the same infection causing them even more vulnerable to the virus resulting in brain damage, blindness, or even fatality.
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 their own consequences on our body. 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 Herpes the same thing?
Both HPV and Herpes share similar symptoms and transmission ways but they are completely different. Herpes is more of sores and sometimes it can be painful can cause irritation/discomfort, 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 Herpes? Well, HPV STD seems to be more common than Herpes. 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 Herpes cause HPV?
Just because Herpes 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 HIV (Human Immuno Deficiency Virus). All three types are completely different from one another.
Which is worse – Herpes or HPV?
Herpes 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 Herpes and HPV. Herpes 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 if the disease is addressed in its initial phase.
Over the long run, both are sensitive to your health. HPV can cause cancers and Herpes can lead to neurological disorders.