Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus that is primarily transferred by skin-to-skin sexual contact. In fact, HPV is so common that over 80% of sexually active adults will get HPV at some point in their lives.
While over 150 types of HPV have been identified, only some are high-risk HPV types, known to cause health problems such as genital warts and cancers. Testing positive for HPV is not a negative reflection on you, your partner, or your lifestyle.
There is no treatment for the HPV virus. Most high-risk HPV infections have no symptoms, are harmless, and are cleared by the body’s immune system within two years. Since there are often no symptoms, a woman may never know that she or her partner has HPV. However, when the presence of HPV continues, certain types of high-risk HPV can progress to precancer or cancer. In women, HPV 16 and HPV 18 are the two highest risk types, known to cause close to 70% of cervical cancer cases.