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Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Genital Warts

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NIAID Research on HPV

Two HPV vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix, are approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Both vaccines are highly effective in preventing persistent infection with HPV types 16 and 18, two “high-risk” HPVs that cause most (70 percent) of cervical cancers.

NIAID supports research to better understand, treat, diagnose, and prevent all types of HPV.

More about NIAID Research on HPV and Genital Warts 

Human Papillomavirus

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common causes of sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the world. Health experts estimate there are more cases of genital HPV infection than any other STD in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 6 million new cases of sexually transmitted HPV infections are reported every year. At least 20 million people in this country are already infected.

Genital warts

Genital warts (sometimes called condylomata acuminata or venereal warts) are the most easily recognized sign of genital HPV infection. Many people, however, have a genital HPV infection without genital warts.

Genital warts are soft, moist, or flesh colored and appear in the genital area within weeks or months after infection. They sometimes appear in clusters that resemble cauliflower-like bumps, and are either raised or flat, small or large. Genital warts can show up in women on the vulva and cervix, and inside and surrounding the vagina and anus. In men, genital warts can appear on the scrotum or penis. There are cases where genital warts have been found on the thigh and groin.

Last Updated October 21, 2010

Last Reviewed October 21, 2010