HPV Human Papillomavirus

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HPV is a very common infection, and is characterised by a soft wart-like growth on the genitalia of either gender (eg penis, vulva, anus).
Four out of five people will have a strain of this virus some time in their life, most will not know they have it, and it will be dealt with by the bodys immune system.

There are many different types of HPV, and over 40 types can infect the genital mucosa, but only 15 strains may, ultimately, cause cervical cancer.

The genital strains of HPV are sexually tranmitted (oral, anal, vaginal), and can, also, cause genital warts.

More than 11,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. Worldwide, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women and is the most preventable cancer. This is because it’s the only cancer with a single known primary cause being HPV (human papillomavirus). Eight out of 10 women are estimated to get HPV at some point in their lives, but the virus usually goes away on its own. However, in some women, HPV can persist resulting in abnormal cells which, can develop into cervical cancer.

How can you protect yourself? 

Ages 9-26: Consider a HPV vaccine.

Age 21 and older: Get a regular Pap test.

Age 30 and older: Ask for an HPV test together with your Pap test.


Information on cervical cancer

Guard against cervical cancer

Cervical cancer screening with the HPV test and the Pap test

HealthyWomen.org’s info on cervical cancer prevention

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention info on cervical cancer prevention

Cancer council  info on cervical cancer

Cervical cancer causes, stages, symptoms, treatment