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When Can a Person Contract HPV?

A person can contract HPV whenever there is direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. There are over 100 types of HPV viruses, and about 30 or so of them are transmitted sexually.

Contracting Genital HPV

The types of HPV that infect the genital area are spread primarily through direct genital-to-genital contact. Therefore, HPV transmission occurs easily among sexual partners. Because it is so easy to acquire a genital HPV infection, at least 50 percent of sexually active men and women will acquire this infection at some point in their lives. By age 50, at least 80 percent of women will have been infected with the virus.
(Click HPV Transmission for more detailed information about how the virus can cause genital warts in an infected person.)

HPV Overview Information

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