HPV (Human Papilloma Virus)

Human papilloma virus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted virual infection that infects the skin and mucous membranes, including those in the genital area. HPV is transmitted two ways: by skin-to-skin contact and by contact with infected body fluids. It is most often spread by sex play or sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal or oral sex). There is no cure for HPV. Because most people don't know they have HPV, they don't seek treatment. Warts caused by HPV can be treated, but treatment doesn't guarantee the warts won't return. HPV is the most common viral STD. Some people with HPV have warts on (or in) their genitals, but most people with HPV don't know they are infected. A Pap smear can detect HPV infection in women. Infection with certain strains of HPV causes cervical cancer in women. All sexually active women should have regular Pap smears so that cervical cancer and other problems caused by HPV can be recognized and treated.