Human papillomavirus is the name given to a group of viruses that live on the skin and can be passed from person-to-person. Many HPV infections come and go and do not cause any problems, but persistent HPV infection is a leading cause of cervical and other cancers. In addition to cervical cancer in women, HPV infection can cause genital warts as well as cancers of the penis, vulva, anus and throat.

The main transmission route is through sexual contact with an infected individual, this includes sexual intercourse of any type or skin-to-skin contact of the genital area. Anyone who is sexually active (men and women) can transmit the infection. HPV can also be passed from mother to child during childbirth.

Several strains of HPV can be prevented through vaccination. However, the vaccines do not prevent all strains, so it is important to use barriers methods such as condoms during all types of sex to prevent the transmission of HPV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Women should also continue to have routine smear tests evn if they have been vaccinationed against HPV.

Age of UseDoses RequiredSchedule
9-14 years20, 6-24 months
15 years +30, 1, 4-6 months

Risk Areas

HPV Risk Area Map