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Coronavirus Update:What patients and families need to know

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in Teens

HPV is one of the most common STIs. Some types of HPV can cause genital warts. These can happen on the inside or outside areas of the genitals. They may spread to the surrounding skin or to a sexual partner. Many other types of HPV cause no symptoms, so you may not know that you are infected.

In most cases, the virus goes away and doesn't cause more health problems. But if the virus lasts, normal cells can change and become abnormal. Women with an HPV infection with high-risk types such as HPV 16 and 18 have an increased risk of getting cervical cancer. Pap tests can detect HPV infection, as well as abnormal cervical cells. An HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers. It also protects against most genital warts in both men and women, and against anal cancer in men.

Even with treatment for genital warts, the virus remains in the body and warts can reappear. Certain types of HPV can also cause warts on other body parts such as the hands. These are called common warts. These don't generally cause health problems. If a pregnant woman has a large number of genital warts, the growths can complicate a vaginal delivery. If the warts block the birth canal, the woman may need a cesarean section.

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