Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is recognized as one of the most common – if not the most common – sexually transmitted infections. The association between HPV and cervical cancer has also been recognized, while more recently it has been associated with some other types of cancer, primarily those in the genital region.
Our understanding of HPV has advanced considerably in the past decade. In fact, we now speak of human papillomavirus infections since there are roughly 100 viruses of varying pathogenecity. New technologies used for detection are being developed with increasing speed, new treatments are available and research on therapeutic or preventive vaccines continues to show promise.
Nonetheless, there is no doubt that HPV infections are a major public health problem.
Recognizing the magnitude of a public health problem is the first step in prevention. However, it is important to fully understand the various components of this problem in order to ide…