HPV -- Sexually Transmitted Disease
Worldwide, the human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). While there are over 100 different HPV types -- most of which are harmless -- only about 30 types are spread through sexual contact.
One sign of HPV is the presence of genital warts. They usually appear as single or multiple bumps in the genital areas of men and women, such as the vagina, cervix, vulva (the area outside of the vagina), penis, and rectum. However, many people with sexually transmitted HPV do not have genital warts or any other symptoms.
It's estimated that about 20 million people are currently infected with HPV. At some point in their lives, at least 50 percent of sexually active adults will be infected. By age 50, at least 80 percent of women will have acquired HPV. Approximately 6.2 million Americans get a new genital HPV infection each year. Many, but not all, of these infections go away on their own.
(Click HPV to read the full eMedTV article, which provides in-depth information on the virus, including how it is transmitted and treated.)