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HPV Prevention

What is HPV?

HPV or Human Papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD). HPV is a different virus than HIV and HSV (herpes). HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives. There are many different types of HPV. Some types can cause health problems including genital warts and cancers. But there are vaccines that can stop these health problems from happening.

Signs and Symptoms


Genital Warts are spread by:


If left untreated, Genital Warts can:

Some virus strains lead to abnormal Pap tests and increased risk of cervical cancer, but these strains do not cause visible warts. Sexually active women should have yearly Pap tests starting 3 years after they first had sex. HPV may also play a role in cancers of the anus, mouth/throat, penis, and vagina.

A physician may perform a special test to identify the cancer-associated strains.


Testing and Treatment

“High risk” HPV strains that cause cancer do not cause visible genital warts. But, high-risk strains may be present along with visible warts.

The body may eventually clear the virus with or without treatment.

The HPV vaccine that is licensed by the FDA, recommended by CDC and currently distributed in the USA is Gardasil-9 (made by Merck).

Public Health Accrediation Board
Arkansas Department of Health
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