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Types of Human Papillomavirus

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) encompasses various types, including low-risk strains causing genital warts and high-risk types associated with cervical cancer.

  • 05 Mar 2024
  • 2 min read

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is an infection that tends to affect different parts of the body. The infection can be harmless, such as genital warts, and also one of high risk that could progress to cervical cancer. Experts believe there are almost 100 human papillomavirus types and that nearly 30 variants of HPV can affect the genitals, including the vulva, vagina, cervix, penis, scrotum, rectum, and anus. 

What are the Types of Human Papillomavirus?

The HPV types can be categorised into:

  • Low-Risk Human Papillomavirus

  • High-Risk Human Papillomavirus

Low-Risk Human Papillomavirus: This variant does not show symptoms and can go away once the body develops immunity against the virus. Low strains of HPV, such as 6 and 11, can cause 90% of genital warts that do not develop into cancer. They develop as bumps and appear like cauliflower. Such warts become visible after weeks and months of having sexual intercourse with an infected partner. They are mostly visible on the cervix, vagina, scrotum, anus, penis, and vulva. They can also appear in the mouth and throat if the person has had oral sex. 

High-Risk Human Papillomavirus: The high-risk type has been linked to cervical dysplasia and certain types of cancer. Around 12 high-risk HPV types exist, including 16, 18, 31, 33, 34, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66, 68, and 70. Among these, 16 and 18 HPV cause the majority of HPV-related cancers of the cervix, vagina, vulva, penis, and anus. They can also develop into cancers of the throat, tongue, tonsils, etc. HPV infections in the mouth and throat can develop following oral sexual contact with an infected person. The immune system can take up to two years to eliminate the infection.  


Human Papillomavirus can affect different parts of the body and comprise low-risk and high-risk HPV. The high-risk variant can develop into cancer of various types, whereas low-risk HPV usually goes away on its own in a few days. But be it low-risk or high-risk, an infection is always unsolicited and can cause unnecessary financial strain. Hence, securing a solid health insurance plan for yourself and your family is always intelligent.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your general physician or another certified medical professional for any questions regarding a medical condition. Relying on any information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk, and ICICI Lombard is not responsible for any effects or consequences resulting from the use of the information shared. 


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