Did you know that the human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most prevalent STI in the US? According to statistics, there are at least 79 million people there infected with the virus. There are also more than 100 types of the virus. Some of them can cause visible symptoms, but most usually don’t. Here we’ll take a look at the basic information about the four most common types of HPV.
1. HPV 16
HPV 16 is by far the most common type of HPV. It is also one of the types that don’t cause any major symptoms. But experts warn that it is the cause of almost half of the cases of cervical cancer around the world.
2. HPV 18
HPV 18 is also among the most common types of HPV. Though not as prevalent as HPV 16, it is very similar to it. For one, most people who contract it won’t notice any unusual symptoms. And just like HPV 16, research shows that it also causes cervical cancer.
3. HPV 11
Although one of the most common types of HPV, HPV 11 is a rather low-risk type of the virus. It can cause problems with the cervix, as well as genital warts. In fact, together with the HPV 6 type, it is responsible for 90% of all cases of genital warts.
4. HPV 6
HPV 6 is also a low-risk type of the human papillomavirus. Like HPV 11, it causes genital sores. It can also cause the growth of benign tumors in the respiratory system.
The CDC reports that HPV is so prevalent that almost all sexually active adults have it. You can reduce your risk of infection by getting an HPV vaccine. But even if you contract the virus, there usually won’t be any symptoms. Still, if you have it, you should visit your doctor to learn what you can do to lower your risk of cervical cancer.