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What is HPV?

HPV, or Human Papillomavirus, is a widespread sexually transmitted infection (STI) that affects both men and women. It is primarily transmitted through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex.

There are two main categories of HPV:




Most HPV infections resolve on their own, but persistent high-risk HPV infections can lead to health issues. Preventive measures include vaccination, safe sexual practices, and regular screenings for cervical cancer.

HPV transmission occurs through direct skin-to-skin contact, including sexual activities, genital-to-genital contact, oral sex, non-penetrative sexual activities, and contact with genital warts.

While HPV is highly prevalent, not all infections lead to health problems.


The health risks associated with HPV include cervical cancer, other anogenital cancers, oropharyngeal cancer, genital warts, and respiratory papillomatosis.


However, most HPV infections clear up naturally, and vaccines are available to protect against cancer-causing HPV types.


Screenings and check-ups related to HPV focus on detecting HPV-related health problems, such as cervical cancer.


Women should start their screening when sexually active or by age 21, with frequency determined by age and risk factors.

Anal cancer screening may be recommended for certain groups, and oropharyngeal cancer screening depends on individual risk factors.

Maintaining open communication with a healthcare provider and following their recommendations for screenings, check-ups, and vaccination is crucial for HPV prevention and early detection of related health issues.



Dr. Lucia Cagnes Dr. Cagnes is a double certified Ob/ Gyn doctor in Europe as well as in the USA. She has been in practice in the US for more than 23 years.

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