Types of human papillomaviruses (HPVs)

More than 100 types of human papillomaviruses (HPVs)—which cause skin warts, genital warts, and abnormal cell changes on the cervix —have been identified. You may be infected with more than one type.

  • HPV types 6 and 11 cause the most visible genital warts. They are spread easily from person to person. However, they are rarely associated with the development of cervical cancer in women.
  • HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33, and 35 are strongly associated with abnormal cells on the cervix and cancer of the cervix. Nearly all cervical cancer tumors contain one of these types, which are sometimes called high-risk types. However, many women may be infected with high-risk types of HPV but never develop precancerous changes or cancer.

DNA testing can identify whether high-risk types are present.

Last Updated: July 2, 2008

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