Genital HPV is a common virus that is passed on through genital contact, most often during sex. Most sexually active people will get HPV at some time in their lives, though most will never even know it. It is most common in people in their late teens and early 20s.
There are about 40 types of HPV that can infect the genital areas of men and women. Most HPV types cause no symptoms and go away on their own. But some types can cause cervical cancer in women and other less common genital cancers- like cancers of the anus, vagina, and vulva (area around the opening of the vagina). Other types of HPV can cause warts in the genital areas of men and women, called genital warts. Genital warts are not a life-threatening disease. But they can cause emotional stress and their treatment can be very uncomfortable.
Every year, about 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and almost 4,000 women die from this disease in the U.S.
About 1% of sexually active adults in the U.S. (or 1 million people) have visible genital warts at any point in time.