Types & Causes of HPV

HPV is an abbreviation for the human papilloma virus, which is actually a collection of several hundred related viruses. While many types of HPV aren't particularly dangerous, there are also some forms of HPV that cause cancer (particularly ovarian cancer in women). Most people will have at least one form of HPV throughout their life, but the spread of the more harmful versions can be controlled more easily because the dangerous forms of HPV tend to be sexually transmitted.


HPV is transmitted through contact. Sometimes if a person has HPV they will develop a small growth on their skin, commonly known as a wart. If this wart comes into contact with other people (such as if you have a planter's wart on your foot and someone's trying to remove it) then the person coming into contact with that wart could absorb the HPV through any small rent or cut in their skin. Many forms of HPV such as genital and anal warts can also be transferred between sexual partners. These are more dangerous forms of HPV, and proper precaution should be used when having sex to avoid contracting them.

Genital Warts

As mentioned above, genital warts is one type of HPV. Genital warts are spread through unprotected sex, and the condition is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases according to emedtv.com. Genital warts as a disease is sometimes referred to as condyloma acuminata, which translates to venereal warts. These warts typically form several weeks after you have sex with a person that has the condition, and they form on the vulva, cervix, vagina and scrotum as well as surrounding areas of the genitals.

Other Warts

HPV can cause dangerous conditions such as precancerous growths on a woman's cervix, genital warts, and anal warts. Other versions of HPV also cause normal, everyday warts. Plantar's warts (as mentioned above) are caused by a version of HPV called verrucae plantaris. Flat warts are another form of HPV which are medically called verrucae plana. Lastly, common warts are also caused by a strain of HPV that's referred to as verrucae vulgaris.