Human papilloma viruses are the cause of cervical and head and neck cancers in men and women. About half of the adult population have been exposed to high risk forms of the agent. With the Quick Fire Science on HPV, Phil Sansom...
HPV is a group of very common viruses, called human papilloma viruses.
Most HPV infections pass through you without any symptoms, but in some people, some viral infections lead to genital warts. A doctor can usually diagnose this by a quick examination, and you can treat them with a cream - or with surgery or by freezing them.
Other HPV infections can be more serious, and put you at risk of different types of cancer. Cervical cancer in particular is nearly always due to HPV.
Testing for it means a cervical screening. The NHS offers this by invitation to all women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64.
There is a vaccine for HPV. Starting in September, all schoolchildren aged 12-13, no longer just girls, will be offered the vaccine.