- HPV is a very common virus. Up to 80% of people will be infected with a genital HPV infection at some time during their lives.
- Your first sexual experience puts you at risk of infection.
- You are still at risk of contracting HPV even if you do not have penetrative sex as the virus is transmitted through genital skin-to-skin contact.
- Infection with HPV does NOT imply either infidelity or promiscuity.
- If you get high-risk HPV you will not require treatment nor will your partner. However, if your cervical screening test detects abnormal cells and high-risk HPV you may be sent for further examination.
- A strong immune system can help your body to clear an HPV infection.
- Smoking can make it harder for the body to clear HPV.
- It can take 12–18 months to clear a high-risk HPV infection.
- An HPV infection can persist in the body without causing any problems for many years.
HPV in summary
Date last updated:
19 May 2015
Date due for review:
19 May 2018