Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Human Papillomavirus, or HPV, is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States. HPV is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, during vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the virus. Most people who become infected with HPV will not have any symptoms and will clear the infection on their own. Nevertheless, when HPV infections persist, they can lead to abnormal Pap tests, genital warts, or cancer.
There are many different strains of HPV, which are classified into two main groups: high-risk and low-risk. High-risk HPV can cause cancer of the cervix, vagina, vulva, penis, anus, and throat; low-risk HPV can cause genital and anal warts. Some health effects caused by HPV can be prevented by the HPV vaccines.