What are Genital Warts/HPV?

HPV stands for the human papilloma virus. It is a viral infection that can affect the genitals, anus, or throat.

5 Facts You Should Know

  • You Don’t Need to have Sex to Contract HPV
    HPV is transmitted through genital skin-to-skin sexual contact.
  • Not all Types of HPV Cause Cancer
    HPV is a group of over a hundred different viruses. There are some types that are high-risk, cancer-causing strains, and there are other strains that are known to cause genital warts.
  • HPV is Very Common
    It is estimated that over 20 million Americans are infected with HPV.
  • There is no Cure for HPV
    The types of HPV that cause genital warts and cervical cancer can be managed, not cured.
  • Most People with HPV do not have Symptoms
    People can still be infected and not show any symptoms of HPV. This is why regular Pap smears are vital for women after the age of 21.
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Symptoms

Warts or abnormal skin growths may occur in the pelvic and genital areas.
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Cause HPV infection occurs when the virus enters your body, usually through a cut, abrasion or small tear in your skin. The virus is transferred primarily by skin-to-skin contact.
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Testing The Pap test is a screening test for cervical cancer. It looks for abnormal cells on your cervix that could turn into cancer over time. That way, problems can be found and treated before they ever turn into cancer. An HPV test may also be used with the Pap test for women 30 years or older, as part of routine screening.
Things to remember
  • Certain strains of HPV can lead to cervical cancer in women
  • If you’re pregnant and have an HPV infection with genital warts, the warts might enlarge and multiply during pregnancy