Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of viruses comprising over 100 different strains.3 Among these, 40 HPV strains infect genital areas, with some strains carrying a larger risk than others.3
Low-risk HPVs may cause no symptoms.4 About 90% of genital warts are caused by non-cancerous HPV types 6 and 11.3,4 Other HPV strains cause warts on the skin of different body areas.4
High-risk HPV strains are associated with cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancer in women, and an increased risk of anal or penile cancer in men.3 Among these, HPV types 16 and 18 are responsible for most HPV-related cancers.3
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the world. Approximately 80% of men and women will be infected with HPV at some point in their lifetime.9 An HPV infection is not evidence of unfaithfulness, and most sexually active couples will inevitably share HPV strains.10
It’s important to discuss HPV with your partner because it affects them too.
A 2014 study showed that 1 in 10 healthy Singaporean women are infected with HPV.11 The risk of infection was highest in those aged between 20 and 24, with one-fifth infected with high-risk HPVs (HPV- 51, 16, 52, 58, 66).11
In 2020, an estimated 309 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer, mostly among those aged 15-45 years, while 172 succumbed to the disease.12 In comparison, new cases of penile cancer in men and anal cancers in men and women were low, accounting for a total of 30 and 60 cases, respectively.12
Our advocates share their stories on the importance of protection against HPV.
Take steps to lower your risk of getting HPV and diseases caused by HPV.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Basic Information About Cervical Cancer. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/basic_info/index.htm. Accessed 7 December 2022.
2 de Martel C, Plummer M, Vignat J, Franceschi S. Worldwide burden of cancer attributable to HPV by site, country and HPV type. Int J Cancer. 2017;141(4):664.
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Infections Treatment Guidelines 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/std/treatment-guidelines/hpv.htm. Accessed 5 December 2022.
4 Cancer.Net. HPV and Cancer. https://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/prevention-and-healthy-living/hpv-and-cancer. Accessed 5 December 2022.
5 ICO HPV Information Centre. Singapore human Papillomavirus and Related Cancers, Fact Sheet 2021. https://hpvcentre.net/statistics/reports/SGP_FS.pdf. Accessed 6 December 2022.
6 National Cancer Institute. HPV and Cancer. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/infectious-agents/hpv-and-cancer. Accessed 5 December 2022.
7 American Cancer Society. HPV and Cancer. https://www.cancer.org/healthy/cancer-causes/infectious-agents/hpv/hpv-and-cancer-info.html. Accessed 5 December 2022.
8 American Cancer Society. Signs and symptoms of cervical cancer. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervical-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/signs-symptoms.html. Accessed 7 December 2022.
9 National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. HPV (Human Papillomavirus). https://www.nfid.org/infectious-diseases/hpv/. Accessed 2 December 2022.
10 National Cervical Cancer Coalition. HPV and Relationships. https://www.nccc-online.org/hpvcervical-cancer/hpv-and-relationships/. Accessed 7 December 2022.
11 Tay SK, Oon LLE. Prevalence of cervical human papillomavirus infection in healthy women is related to sexual behaviours and educational level: A cross-sectional study. Int J STD AIDS. 2014;25(14):1013-1021.
12 Bruni L, Albero G, Serrano B, et al. ICO/IARC Information Centre on HPV and Cancer (HPV Information Centre). Human Papillomavirus and Related Diseases in Singapore. Summary Report 22 October 2021. https://hpvcentre.net/statistics/reports/SGP.pdf?t=1641992267398. Accessed 5 December 2022.
13 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. STD Facts - HPV and Men. https://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv-and-men.htm. Accessed December 2, 2022.
14 Jemal A, Simard EP, Dorell C, et al. Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2009, featuring the burden and trends in human papillomavirus(HPV)-associated cancers and HPV vaccination coverage levels. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2013;105(3):175-201.
15 Moscicki AB, Palefsky JM. HPV in men: An update. J Low Genit Tract Dis. 2011;15(3): 231-234.
16 Giuliano AR, Viscidi R, Torres BN, et al. Seroconversion following anal and genital HPV infection in men: The HIM study. Papillomavirus Res. 2015;1:109-115.