Genital Warts or HPV

Human Papilloma Virus or HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection. HPV is a different virus than herpes and is so common that nearly all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives. There are many different types of HPV. Some types can cause health problems including genital warts and cancer, but there are vaccines that can prevent infection.

  • How is HPV spread?

    You can get HPV by having oral, vaginal, or anal sex with someone who has the virus. Anyone who is sexually active can get HPV, even if you have only had sex with one person

  • Does HPV cause health problems?

    In most cases HPV goes dormant and does not cause any health problems, but it can cause problems.

    Genital warts usually appear as small bumps or a group of bumps, in the genital area.

    HPV can cause cervical cancer and other cancers including cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, and anus. It can also cause cancer of the throat, tongue and tonsils.

  • How can I avoid HPV?

    You can do several things including: 

    • Get vaccinated
    • Get screened for cervical cancer every year if you are sexually active
    • Use latex condoms the right way, every time you have sex.
    • Be in a  mutually monogamous relationship
  • Who should get vaccinated?
    • All boys and girls age 11+
    • Catch-up vaccines are recommended for males through age 21 and females through age 26 if not previously vaccinated
    • Gay and bisexual men (or any man who has sex with a  man) through the age of 26
    • Recommended for men and women with compromised immune systems through the age of 26