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How do you get human papillomavirus (HPV)?

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You can catch HPV through oral, vaginal, and anal sex. The virus is so common that most men and women who are sexually active will have HPV at some point. You can pass HPV to your partner even if you don't know you're infected.

You can't catch HPV from a toilet set or swimming pool. It also doesn't pass from person to person through casual contact, like shaking hands.

SOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology: "Genital Warts: Signs and Symptoms."

American Cancer Society: "HPV and Cancer," "Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer."

CDC: "Genital HPV Infection -- Fact Sheet," "Questions and Answers About HPV."

Cleveland Clinic: "HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment."

National Cancer Institute: "HPV and Cancer."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Cervical Cancer: Screening."

Vaccines.gov: "HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Vaccine."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on March 27, 2019

SOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology: "Genital Warts: Signs and Symptoms."

American Cancer Society: "HPV and Cancer," "Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer."

CDC: "Genital HPV Infection -- Fact Sheet," "Questions and Answers About HPV."

Cleveland Clinic: "HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment."

National Cancer Institute: "HPV and Cancer."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Cervical Cancer: Screening."

Vaccines.gov: "HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Vaccine."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on March 27, 2019

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How does human papillomavirus (HPV) cause cervical cancer?

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