What is genital HPV infection?

 Genital human papillomavirus (also called HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). There are more than 40 types of HPV that can infect the genital areas of males and females. These HPV types can also infect the mouth and throat.

HPV can cause serious health problems, including genital warts and certain cancers. There is no certain way to tell who will develop health problems from HPV and who will not. In most cases HPV goes away by itself before it causes any health problems, and most people who become infected with HPV do not even know they have it.

How do people get HPV?

HPV is passed on through genital contact, most often during vaginal and anal sex. HPV may also be passed on during oral sex and genital-to-genital contact. HPV can be passed on between straight and same-sex partners—even when the infected partner has no signs or symptoms.

What are the symptoms of HPV?

Most people with HPV never develop symptoms or health problems. Most HPV infections (90%) go away by themselves within two years. But, sometimes, HPV infections lead to genital warts (warts on the genital areas) and cervical cancer. Learn more: www.cdc.gov

Is there a test for HPV?

HPV tests are available to help screen women aged 30 years and older for cervical cancer. These HPV tests are not recommended to screen men, adolescents, or women under the age of 30 years.

How can HPV be prevented?

Condom use and HPV vaccines reduces the risk of contracting HPV. Vaccines are recommended for 11- or 12-year-old boys and girls. HPV vaccines are safe and effective, and can protect males and females against some of the most common types of HPV that can lead to disease and cancer.