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HPV is a Virus

HPV stands for the human papillomavirus, a contagious virus and one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases.

There are 120 sub types of HPV, of which about 40 can infect the genital and anal areas. This virus spreads by skin to skin contact, where it enters abrasions and attacks skin cells to cause the visible warts, also known as venereal warts.

Some HPV types can cause cervical cancer. These can also cause other, less common but serious cancers, including cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and head and neck (tongue, tonsils and throat). That’s why it’s extremely important for women to also have pap smears to check for abnormalities and cervical cancer.


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