About HPV

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infects about 13 million people, including teens, each year. While most HPV infections go away on their own, infections that don’t go away can lead to certain types of cancer. Every year, about 36,000 men and women develop a cancer caused by HPV. HPV vaccination could prevent more than 90% of these cancers from ever developing.

HPV infections are very common. Nearly everyone will get HPV at some point in their lives.

  • More than 42 million Americans are currently infected with HPV types that cause disease.
  • About 13 million Americans, including teens, become infected each year.

Most infections are asymptomatic and become undetectable, but some can be persistent and can progress to cancer in both women and men later in life.

HPV infections can cause cancers of the:

  • Cervix, vagina, and vulva in women
  • Penis in men
  • Anus in both women and men
  • Back of the throat (called oropharyngeal cancer), including the base of the tongue and tonsils, in both men and women

The HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV that most often cause cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and anal precancers and cancers, as well as the types of HPV that cause most oropharyngeal cancers. The vaccine used in the United States also protects against the HPV types that cause most genital warts. Cervical cancer also can be prevented or found early through regular screening and follow-up treatment.