HPV: A virus we can all beat

Updated: Nov 26, 2021

What is HPV?

With half a million new cases estimated each year, cervical cancer remains one of the most common cancer among women worldwide. Human papillomavirus (HPV) consists of over 200 viruses that are the most common sexually transmitted infection. HPV is responsible for virtually all cases of cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is a very treatable disease if detected in its earliest stages. How to reduce your risk of cervical cancer from Check 4 Cancer [7].

HPV can cause cancer in the throat, cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, or anus. HPV can be passed even when an infected person has no signs or symptoms. Anyone who is sexually active can get HPV. Sometimes symptoms develop even years after infection. This makes it hard to trace the first case of HPV infection.

How common is HPV and the related health problems caused by HPV?

HPV (the virus): As estimated by CDC, there were 43 million HPV infections in 2018, during which 13 million new cases were recorded. CDC also stated that HPV is so common that almost all individuals who are sexually active will get HPV at some time in their life if they don't get vaccinated.

Genital warts: There were about 340,000 to 360,000 men and women who were affected with genital warts before HPV vaccines were introduced. (This figure is based on the number of people who sought care and may be an underestimation.)