Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), Cancer, HPV Testing, and HPV Vaccines : Frequently Asked Questions

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Can HPV be prevented?

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HPV and cancer

What are the risk factors for genital HPV?

Risk factors for women

  • Having many sex partners
  • Having a partner who has had many partners
  • Being younger than 25 years of age
  • Starting to have sex at an early age (16 years or younger)
  • Having a male partner who is not circumcised (having had the foreskin of the penis removed).Men who have not been circumcised are more likely to be infected with HPV and pass it on to their partners. The reasons for this are unclear.

Risk factors for men

  • Having many sex partners.
  • Not being circumcised (having had the foreskin of the penis removed). Men who are circumcised have a lower chance of getting and staying infected with HPV. Men who have not been circumcised are more likely to be infected with HPV and pass it on to their partners. The reasons for this are unclear. And circumcision does not completely protect against HPV infection – men who are circumcised can still get HPV and pass it on to their partners.

Last Medical Review: 05/02/2013
Last Revised: 05/02/2013