What is HPV?
HPV stands for Human Papillomavirus (pap-ah-LO-mah-VYE-rus). According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HPV is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States. About 20 million Americans have HPV, and some 6 million people become newly infected each year. Odds are that more than half of sexually active people will eventually get genital HPV.
Disease abbreviations can be confusing. It's important to note that HPV is not the same as HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus) or HIV. There are 40 different types of HPV that can be passed along during sexual activity. Most people infected with HPV will not be aware of it and will not experience any signs or symptoms.