HPV is the human papillomavirus. It is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. It is passed from person to person through vaginal or anal sex. HPV infection can last from 4 to 14 months. This means that if you have more than one sexual partner during this time, you may pass it to more people.

There are more than 80 types of HPV. Some cause no medical problems at all and infection goes away on its own. But other types can cause serious health problems. Some can cause genital warts. Other types can cause cancer. In fact, HPV infection is the single biggest risk factor in developing cervical cancer. Ninety percent of patients with cervical cancer test positive for HPV.

Cervical cancer is caused by HPV. Beat cancer: Get tested periodically.