has been refreshed! Take a tour.
  • HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
  • Disease Issues

How serious is disease caused by HPV?

Most HPV infections are asymptomatic and go away completely on their own within 2 years (usually in the first 6 months) after infection without causing clinical disease. Some infections are persistent and can lead to precancerous lesions or cancer. HPV infections caused by certain HPV types cause almost all cases of anogenital warts in women and men and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis.

According to CDC surveillance data from 2015 to 2019, every year in the United States, about 47,199 new cases of cancer (26,177 among women and 21,022 among men) are found in parts of the body where human papillomavirus (HPV) is often found (referred to as HPV-associated cancers). About 79% of these cancers are probably caused by HPV (referred to as HPV-attributable cancers).

Each year, between 2015 and 2019, an average of 12,293 cases of cervical cancer, the most widely known HPV-associated cancer, occurred in the United States. HPV is also associated with vulvar, and vaginal cancer in females, penile cancer in males, and anal and oropharyngeal cancer in both females and males. Between 2015 and 2019, oropharyngeal cancers were the most commonly occurring HPV-associated cancers, with an average of 20,839 reported cases each year (17,238 among men and 3664 among women). See and for more information on trends in HPV-associated cancer.

Last reviewed: October 13, 2023

This page was updated on .