HPV: Causes, Risk Factors, & How to Protect Yourself

With more than 100 types of human papillomavirus (HPV), the majority of strains do not cause any noticeable problems, and most sexually active women and men will be infected with HPV at some point in their lives [1].

However, 14 of these types are cancer-causing, and two specific types (16 and 18) are responsible for causing 70% of cervical cancer cases. According to WHO, 311,000 women died from cervical cancer in 2018, with 85% of these deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries [1].

The good news is cervical cancer can be cured through early diagnosis. Vaccines to protect against HPV 16 and 18 are also widely available.

So, how can you protect yourself from HPV? Watch this short, informative video below to see how the virus causes harm, who’s at risk, and how to minimize those risks:


1. Human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer – Fact Sheet [Internet]. World Health Organization (WHO). 2019 [cited 31 July 2020]. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/human-papillomavirus-(hpv)-and-cervical-cancer