​Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

  • Group of viruses with different effects on body
  • Some not harmful; others can lead to abnormal cervical changes, cervical, vaginal, vulvar, penile and anal cancers and genital warts

Signs and Symptoms

  • Many people have no symptoms


  • Passed from one person to another through direct skin contact (mostly sexual contact)


  • Body’s immune system
  • Medication for genital warts
  • Pap test
    • Detect early cervical abnormalities caused by HPV
    • Consult your doctor to discuss your choices


While a HPV infection usually goes away on its own, depending on the type you have a chance of developing cervical or genital cancers, cervical abnormalities, or genital warts.


  • Condom use (offer some protection but HPV may still be present on other uncovered skin)
  • HPV vaccine
  • Pap test as recommended by your health care professional

Who should get the HPV vaccine?

  • The HPV vaccine is recommended for girls and women between the ages of 9 and 45, and for boys and men between the ages of 9 and 45
  • It is best to get the vaccine before becoming sexually active, because it will only protect against type(s) of HPV that you do not already have
  • If you are already sexually active you can still get the vaccine, but you may already have a type(s) of HPV

This information is for general knowledge only and does not replace professional medical advice. For STI testing or more information, contact our confidential sexual health clinic at 519-753-4937 ext. 471.