HPV (genital warts)

There are over 100 types of human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the virus that causes genital and anal warts, also sometimes called condyloma. HPV can also cause cervical, anal, and oropharyngeal (throat) cancer. HPV strains that cause warts are referred as “low-risk” strains, while those that can cause cancer are referred to as “high-risk” strains.

Warts caused by HPV are not the same warts commonly found on hands and feet, and the type of wart on another part of your body cannot be passed to your genital area and vice versa. The virus that causes genital warts is spread by direct skin-to-skin contact from one person to another during anal or vaginal sex, and can be transmitted even when warts are not present.

HPV is considered to be the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the U.S. It is estimated that 80% of sexually active people in the U.S. have contracted HPV at some point in their lives. However, most people with HPV will never know they have been infected.

HPV Facts Sheet
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