About 80% of people –both men and women – will get a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection at some point in their lives. HPV is spread by intimate skin-to-skin contact. While most cases are sexually transmitted, people who haven’t had intercourse can become infected.
There are many strains of HPV. Several types are linked to cancer. Most people with HPV don’t know they’re infected and never develop symptoms or health problems from it.
The body usually clears HPV on its own. When it remains, it can lead to health problems such as genital warts and several types of cancer, including:
Screening tests can determine if a woman has HPV. There is no screening exam to detect HPV or HPV-related cancers in men, and there are no treatments for the virus itself. However, there are ways to treat HPV-related health problems like precancerous lesions and genital warts.