Billings Clinic
Especially For:

Illness & Conditions - Definition

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

The human papillomavirus (HPV) causes warts, including genital warts, and may cause cervical cancer and changes in the cervix that can lead to cancer. HPV is spread by direct contact.

There are more than 100 known types of HPV.

  • Some HPV types cause genital warts. In women, certain high-risk types of HPV increase the risk of cervical cancer. Women may have an HPV infection and not have any symptoms. Sometimes the only sign that a woman is infected with HPV is an abnormal Pap test result.
  • Other types of HPV cause common, plantar, filiform or flat warts, and some genital warts. These types of warts are not cancerous.

There is no known cure for HPV. Most warts and HPV infections go away without treatment within 2 years. But medicines and treatments are available to help warts disappear more quickly. HPV remains in the body with or without treatment, so warts or HPV infections of the cervix may come back.

The HPV vaccine can help prevent HPV infection. It can be given to males and females 9 to 26 years old.

Last Revised: June 21, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Print This Page
Email to a Friend
Home | Contact | Site Map | Site Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Patient Privacy Policy | Medical Records | Fast Command
2800 10th Ave. North | P.O. Box 37000 | Billings, Montana 59107 | 406.238.2500
© Copyright 2014 Billings Clinic. All Rights Reserved.