Human papilloma virus (HPV)

Medical Specialties: Internal medicine, Obstetrics/gynecology

Clinical Definition

Human papilloma virus (HPV) is a common infection caused by the papovaviridae family of viruses. There are many types of human papilloma viruses. More than 40 types of HPV are transmitted sexually and can affect the genitals.


Genital HPV is associated with certain types of malignancies, including cervical neoplasia, laryngeal and anogential carcinomas. A preventative vaccine is available for individuals up to the age of 26.

In Our Own Words

Human papilloma viruses can affect different parts of the body. Genital HPV is the most widely known type of HPV and is also believed to be the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. Males and females can become infected and not know it.


Almost all cervical cancers are caused by HPV. Some forms of genital HPV are associated with an increased risk of oral, anal and penile cancer as well. HPV vaccines are available for both genders at all age groups.

Relevant Conditions
Side Effects
  • Genital warts
Share this article
  • The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “Human Papillomavirus: What you should know.” Accessed November 2013.
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Human papillomavirus (HPV) and genital warts fact sheet.” Accessed November 2013.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Genital HPV Infection Fact Sheet.” Accessed November 2013.
Keep Reading

Investigate your bodys signs and signals.
Try Symptom Checker