Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Picture of Genital Warts (HPV)

Picture of Genital Warts (HPV)

Genital warts are viral infections caused by human papillomaviruses (HPVs). There are many kinds of HPVs, some of which increase the risk of certain cancers, especially cervical cancer. Vaccines are available that reduce the risk of becoming infected with the most common strains of HPVs that cause cervical cancer.

HPV is the most common sexually-transmitted infection (STI) in the United States. There are 40 strains of HPV that affect the genital area. HPV is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact. It can also be transmitted from an infected mother to an infant during childbirth. An infected person may transmit the virus despite exhibiting any signs or symptoms. HPV is not curable but in most cases does not cause any symptoms. Unsightly or painful warts may be removed with cryotherapy (freezing), burning (electrocautery), surgery, or laser therapy.

Image Source: Science Source, Dr P. Marazzi, Dr. Harout Tanielian, Biophoto Associates / Photo Researchers Inc.

Text Reference: "Human Papillomavirus (HPV)." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.