HPV or Human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted disease for men and women in the U.S. About 79 million Americans are currently infected with HPV. There are over 100 types of HPV and more than 40 types can be transmitted via sexual contact. It usually has no symptoms but may manifest as genital warts or cervical cancer.
HPV is spread via vaginal, oral or anal sex. It can also be contracted via genital touching and can be passed unknowingly during childbirth. HPV usually goes away on its own but may cause diseases including: cervical cancer, genital cancers, oropharyngeal cancer and genital warts.
HPV has no cure but there are treatments for genital warts and the cervical cellular changes caused by this virus. In addition, there are multiple vaccines that have become available to prevent HPV and its related diseases. Girls and women ages 9-26 can receive the vaccine. For boys, the vaccine is generally given before age 12 but can still be given up to age 26 years old if they did not receive treatment when they were younger.