Human Papilloma Virus is not rare. This guy had an immune deficiency which allowed a fairly common infection (warts) to get out of hand.
An extract from the original article:
After testing samples of the lesions and Dede's blood, Dr Anthony Gaspari of the University of Maryland concluded that his affliction is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a fairly common infection that usually causes small warts to develop on sufferers.
Dede's problem is that he has a rare genetic fault that impedes his immune system, meaning his body is unable to contain the warts.
The virus was therefore able to "hijack the cellular machinery of his skin cells", ordering them to produce massive amounts of the substance that caused the tree-like growths known as "cutaneous horns" on his hands and feet.
Dede's counts of a key type of white blood cell are so low that Dr Gaspari initially suspected he may have the Aids virus.
But tests showed he did not, and it became clear that Dede's immune condition was something far rarer and more mysterious.
HPV is very common. It’s the virus that causes the warts on your fingers and knees as a kid – and yes, it’s the virus that causes genital warts (yech!). All doctors love those.
As long as you all have good healthy immune systems, your wart virus will never get like this.
Without getting overly medical - here's our favourite source - WikiDoc!
Some HPV types may cause warts while others may cause a subclinical infection resulting in precancerous lesions. All HPVs are transmitted by skin-to-skin contact.
A group of about 30-40 HPVs is typically transmitted through sexual contact and infect the anogenital region. Some sexually transmitted HPVs -- types 6, 11, may cause genital warts. However, other HPV types which may infect the genitals do not to cause any noticeable signs of infection.
Persistent infection with a subset of about 13 so-called "high-risk" sexually transmitted HPVs, including types 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, and 68 — different from the ones that cause warts — may lead to the development of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN), penile intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN), and/or anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN). These are precancerous lesions and can progress to invasive cancer. HPV infection is a necessary factor in the development of nearly all cases of cervical cancer.
So - 1 x guest post on offer to EmergencyEmm if he/she wants it!