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Signs and symptoms
- Most types do not cause symptoms.
- The types of HPV that cause cervical cancer usually cause no symptoms.
- Some strains of HPV cause genital warts.
- Signs of genital warts may be:
- Soft, pink or flesh-colored bumps or swellings on or near the genitals, anus or upper thigh
- Cauliflower-like growths on or near genitals, anus or upper thigh area
- Most people who develop warts do so within 3-6 months after getting infected.
- Anal or vaginal sex
- Oral sex and genital to genital contact
- Infected mother to baby at vaginal birth
- People with HIV are more likely to get HPV and related health problems.
- Get vaccinated against HPV (girls, boys, young women, young men).
- Abstain from oral, anal and vaginal sex.
- Use condoms/barriers consistently and correctly for oral, anal or vaginal sex.
- Get regular, routine pap smear tests to prevent cervical cancer (women).
- Get regular, routine health care exams, including STD tests.
- If a partner has HPV, avoid sexual contact if warts are present and use condoms at all times.
- Limit number of sex partners.
- Most people with HPV control the infection without treatment.
- If you have warts or if you are a woman with an abnormal pap smear, you may need treatment.
- See a health care provider for exam and tests to figure out the best treatment.
If not treated...
- Increased risk for certain cancers in women and men.
- Can rarely be passed to infant at delivery; may cause warts in baby's throat or voice box.
If you have HPV...
- Use condoms or barriers with vaginal and anal sex.
- Learn about HPV and seek support from local groups or websites.
- Seek medical care, including STD tests. Use all medicines as prescribed.
- Notify recent sex partners that they were exposed to HPV and talk to new partners about it.
- Get yearly STD screens including a pap smear test as indicated if you are female.
- If pregnant, get tested for STDs and HIV.