Find out more about the risks of HPV, genital warts, and cervical cancer.

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Learn more about HPV (human papillomavirus) and causes of cervical cancer.

Nivi can help you find a clinic near you for an HPV test or to discuss HPV symptoms and treatment.

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HPV, meaning ‘human papillomavirus’, is the name of more than 100 different types of viruses that affect the skin.


HPV has no symptoms in most people. You may not even know you have it. Some people can get genital warts, vaginal warts or cancer. 


HPV mostly affects the mouth, throat, or genitals. These viruses are common because it is easy to get HPV. In fact, most people will get some type of HPV at some time in their life.


It is estimated that HPV types 6 and 11 cause 90% of genital warts. 


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You do not need to have penetrative sex to get HPV.
You can get HPV from skin-on-skin genital contact. Or you can get it from oral, vaginal or anal sex. If you share sex toys with someone who has HPV, you could get it.

Even if you have not been sexually active for years, or had the same sexual partner for a long time, you could still have HPV. You may not know because it usually has no symptoms. In fact, about 80% of all adults have had HPV at some point in their lives, and most never know it.
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For HPV treatment, you need to find a doctor or clinic you can visit regularly. 
If you have HPV but don’t show any symptoms, you may not need treatment right away, but your doctor will want to monitor your situation to make sure you don’t start having problems.

HPV types 6 and 11 cause warts that grow for about 6 months and then stop. Sometimes they go away without treatment.
If you need treatment, your doctor can prescribe a cream you can use at home. The cream can clear up 45% to 90% of genital warts.


If you are a woman, your doctor may recommend an HPV test. If your doctor finds abnormal cervical cells that could lead to cancer, they may suggest you get Pap smears more often. These abnormal cervical cells may be signs of cervical cancer.

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It’s important for girls and boys between the ages of 9 and 14 to get an HPV immunisation. 
But women and men  who are older than 20 can also benefit if they did not receive the vaccine when they were younger.
Gardasil is the name of an HPV immunisation used to prevent strains of HPV.


This HPV immunisation is recommended for both boys and girls before they are old enough to be sexually active. The vaccine is approved for males and females from ages 9 to 26 and additionally from 27 to 45.
Gardasil can prevent most cases of cervical cancer if a girl or woman gets it before she is exposed to the virus.
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How can you know if you have HPV or cervical cancer? A cervical screening can tell you.
Among African women, cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer death.
That’s why it’s so important to get a cervical screening.


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