HPV Home > HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

HPV stands for human papillomavirus -- a type of virus that can infect the skin and mucous membranes of both men and women. Some types of HPV can cause warts on the hands or feet, while others can cause genital warts or other problems. However, just because a person is infected with HPV does not necessarily mean that he or she will have symptoms.
Because certain types of HPV increase the risk for cancer, research scientists have separated the types into high-risk HPV and low-risk HPV. High-risk HPV may cause abnormal Pap smear results and could lead to cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, anus, or penis. Low-risk HPV may also cause abnormal Pap smear results or genital warts.
Treatment will depend on certain factors, such as the types of symptoms that are present. At this time, however, there is no cure.
(Want more information on the human papillomavirus? Click HPV to read the full eMedTV article on this topic.)
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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