Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Genital Herpes Health Center

Font Size

Herpes Virus Linked to Cervical Cancer

Appears to Be 'Accomplice' With Other Virus


"This study was done in countries that typically have very little in the way of formal Pap screening programs and management of minor abnormalities," says Schiffman. "It's an attempt by scientists to further determine how HPV uncommonly progresses to cervical cancer and to further clarify what is already one of the best understood cancers."

Although among the more common cancers affecting women, when detected early -- via a Pap smear -- cervical cancer has a nearly 100% cure rate. Since 1955, its death rate has decreased by 74%, primarily because of increased use of Pap screenings. Most women have been advised to have at least one screening a year; those who have gotten "abnormal" results may require two or three per year. The American Cancer Society is expected to announce new recommendations by month's end.

The herpes-2 virus is among several factors that work in conjunction with HPV in boosting cervical cancer risk. Previous studies indicate that using oral contraceptives for more than five years doubles the risk in those with HPV, while having more than seven births boosts risk four times. Other suspected co-factors include being sexually active in adolescence, smoking, and giving birth before age 20.

There is no cure for HSV-2, which also is spread through unprotected sexual contact and now infects an estimated one in five Americans older than age 12, according to the CDC. When active, it can trigger painful and highly infectious sores on the genitalia.

Another type of herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores on the mouth - HSV-1 - has not been implicated in the HPV-cervical cancer link, says Smith.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

STD Overview
BHC Healthy Sex Life
things your guy wish you knew slideshow
Sex Drive Killers 03
Genital Herpes Risks Quiz
Young couple holding hands
Hepatitis Prevent 10
Herpes Vaccine Study
Daughter Development Evaluator
HPV Vaccine Future
STD Facts Quiz
mother and daughter talking

WebMD Special Sections