Human papillomavirus infection (HPV infection) is an infection caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Over 170 types have been described. More than 40 types may be spread through sexual contact and infect the anus and genitals. Also, HPV infection can spread from a mother to baby during pregnancy. HPV affects only humans.
About 90% of HPV infections cause no symptoms and resolve spontaneously within two years. However, in some cases, an HPV infection persists and results in either warts or precancerous lesions.
These lesions, depending on the site affected, increase the risk of cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, anus, mouth, or throat. Nearly all cervical cancer is due to HPV; two types, HPV16 and HPV18, account for 70% of cases. Between 60% and 90% of the other cancers listed above are also linked to HPV. HPV6 and HPV11 are common causes of genital warts and laryngeal papillomatosis.