Correct and consistent condom use is associated with reduced HPV transmission between sexual partners, but less frequent condom use is not (8).
However, because areas not covered by a condom can be infected by the virus (7), condoms are unlikely to provide complete protection against the infection.
Because none of the currently available HPV vaccines protects against all HPV infections that cause cancer, it is important for vaccinated women to continue to undergo cervical cancer screening.
There could be some future changes in recommendations for vaccinated women.
HPV is easily passed between partners through sexual contact.
HPV infections are more likely in those who have many sex partners or have sex with someone who has had many partners.
High-risk HPV types cause approximately 5% of all cancers worldwide (11).
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that more than 90% and 80%, respectively, of sexually active men and women will be infected with at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives (5).
Around one-half of these infections are with a high-risk HPV type (6).
Because the infection is so common, most people get HPV infections shortly after becoming sexually active for the first time (13, 14). Someone can have an HPV infection even if they have no symptoms and their only sexual contact with an HPV-infected person happened many years ago.
HPV vaccination can reduce the risk of infection by the HPV types targeted by the vaccine.