International Papilloma Virus awareness day is celebrated on the 4th of March every year. During this day, global campaigns are carried out to talk about the HPV virus, explain what it is, what are the related risks and how to reduce its impact through screening and vaccination. This recurrence invites us not to let our guard down in the fight against this widespread infection.
In fact, it is estimated that about 8 out of 10 sexually active women contract HPV infection at least once in their life, with a prevalence between 20 and 30 years. Most HPV infections are transient and the virus is cleared by the immune system before developing a pathogenic effect. In fact, 60-90% of HPV infections resolve spontaneously within 1-2 years of infection .
The persistence of the viral infection, however, can be the cause of the development of cervical cancer, a type of female cancer that is still very common today. In fact, the persistence of HPV infection can lead to the development of precancerous lesions that can progress up to cervical cancer. 
DID YOU KNOW THAT…
The persistence of HPV infection depends on the immune status of the host, the balance of the vaginal microbiota (eubiosis) and the degree of epithelialization of the uterine cervix
The vaginal microbiota is in fact characterized by specific microorganisms, mainly of the Lactobacillus species, which protect the vaginal environment from the development of opportunistic infections.
Scientific evidence has shown that the presence of bacterial vaginosis increases the incidence rate of HPV-induced lesions. 
To maintain a correct vaginal eubiosis, the local administration of fibers with a prebiotic action is useful. They are able to selectively grow Lactobacilli and microorganisms characterizing a healthy vaginal microbiota.
The physiological vaginal microenvironment is also characterized by an acid pH, with a value between 3.8 and 4.5. The increase in vaginal pH represents a predisposing condition for the establishment and persistence of HPV infection . Lactobacilli contribute to the maintenance of acidic vaginal pH, through the formation of lactic acid. In case of vaginal dysbiosis, the local application of acidifying agents, such as lactic acid, can helps to restore the physiologically acidic pH of the vaginal environment and a condition of eubiosis.
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Bibliography: Ronco, G. Epidemiologia dell’infezione genitale da HPV e delle sue complicazioni e utilizzo della ricerca molecolare del virus per lo screening del cancro del collo dell’utero. Epidemiol Prev., 2007 31, 6-11.
 Baseman, J. G., & Koutsky, L. A. (2005). The epidemiology of human papillomavirus infections. Journal of clinical virology, 32, 16-24.
 Gillet, E., Meys, J. F., Verstraelen, H., Bosire, C., De Sutter, P., Temmerman, M., & Broeck, D. V. Bacterial vaginosis is associated with uterine cervical human papillomavirus infection: a meta-analysis. BMC infectious diseases, 2011, 11, 1-9.
 Clarke, Megan A., et al. “A large, population-based study of age-related associations between vaginal pH and human papillomavirus infection.” BMC infectious diseases, 2012, 12 (1), 33.