• Your first sexual experience puts you at risk of infection.
  • You are still at risk of contracting HPV even if you do not have penetrative sex as the virus is transmitted through genital skin to skin contact.
  • Infection with HPV does NOT imply either infidelity or promiscuity.
  • If you get high risk HPV you will not require treatment nor will your partner. However if your cervical screening test detects abnormal cells and high risk HPV you may be sent for further examination.
  • A strong immune system can help your body to clear HPV infection.
  • Smoking can make it harder for the body to clear HPV.
  • It can take 12 to 18 months to clear a high risk HPV infection.
  • HPV stands for the Human papillomavirus
  • HPV is highly contagious because it is transmitted through skin to skin contact below the waistline.
  • The use of a condom during sexual relationships do not offer complete protection from HPV, as the condom does not cover the entire genital area. [2]
  • An often neglected and crucial fact that is all too often poorly understood is that HPV affects men as well as women, so boys and men should be included in education and any endeavors around HPV. [2]
  • The highest rates of HPV infection are found in youths under the age of 25. [3]
  • Types 6 and 11 of HPV causes genital warts, and HPV types 16 and 18 can cause several cancers, and almost 100% of cervical cancers. There are vaccines currently available to protect against both. [2]
  • 40% to 80% of some anogenital cancers (anus, vulva, vagina and penis), as well as 47% to 70% of oropharyngeal cancers (head, neck, throat and tongue) are caused by HPV. These cancers of the mouth and airways are most likely linked to people performing oral sex, not protecting their mouths and because they lay dormant for many years it surfaces later as a cancer. [2]
  • HPV can stay dormant in both men and women for up to 30 years, making people of all ages affected by HPV, because of how long the virus can stay asleep in a person’s body. [4]
  • The prevalence of anal cancer, which is believed to be caused by HPV, has doubled in the past 25 years. [3]
  • 80% of sexually active people will contract HPV in their lifetime. [1]
  • HPV can be prevented and detected before turning into a full-blown cervical cancer. [4]
  • Families around the country are affected by HPV, with 3000 Canadians diagnosed with an HPV related cancer yearly. [5]


  1. Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. (2014). The 2014 Cancer System Performance Report. Toronto: Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. Taken from: http://www.cancerview.ca/idc/groups/public/documents/webcontent/sp_report_2014.pdf
  2. Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec (INSPQ). (2013). Les infections au virus du papillome humain (VPH) et le portrait des cancers associés à ces infections au Québec. Taken from: http://www.inspq.qc.ca/pdf/publications/1709_infecVPHPortrCancersAssoInfecQc.pdf
  3. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC). Incidence and prevalence of HPV in Canada. Taken from: http://www.hpvinfo.ca/health-care-professionals/what-is-hpv/incidence-andprevalence-of-hpv-in-canada
  4. Facts about HPV. http://www.mcgill.ca/hitchcohort/hpvfacts#LIFETIME
  5. Bruni L, Barrionuevo-Rosas L, Albero G, Aldea M, Serrano B, Valencia S, Brotons M, Mena M, Cosano R, Muñoz J, Bosch FX, de Sanjosé S, Castellsagué X. ICO Information Centre on HPV and Cancer (HPV Information Centre). Human Papillomavirus and Related Diseases in Canada. Summary Report 2014-12-18

"HPV in Summary" Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust. N.p., 19 Aug. 2013. Web. 02 Mar. 2015.