Pediatric Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Pediatric human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)  It can cause genital warts and certain types of cancer.

What is Pediatric Human Papillomavirus (HPV)?

Human papillomavirus is a widespread, sexually transmitted infection (STI). It has become well-known due to its link to cervical cancer. While not every child with HPV will develop cervical cancer, HPV increases the risk. The main feature of HPV is genital warts, but not all children will develop them.  Even though HPV is called an STI, it can be transmitted through non-sexual routes like hand to hand contact, or from mother to child during a vaginal delivery, for example.

What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric Human Papillomavirus (HPV)?

Warts are the most frequently occurring symptom of HPV; however, most HPV infections will not cause symptoms.

How is Pediatric Human Papillomavirus (HPV) diagnosed?

In children and adolescents, if there is a concern for a wart, an examination in the office will the first step in the evaluation of this condition.  

What are the causes of Pediatric Human Papillomavirus (HPV)?

The HPV infection is primarily spread through skin-to-skin contact. There are several risk factors that increase the chance of a child getting a HPV infection:

  • Having a cut – The disease can enter the blood stream through an opening in the skin (like a cut).
  • Having a mother with HPV – It is possible for a mother to infect her child during vaginal childbirth.
  • Being sexually active – Those that are sexually active have a greater risk of contracting HPV. Further, the more sexual partners you have, the more likely you are to get HPV. Being with a partner that has had multiple partners also increases your risk.
  • Weakened immune system – Immune systems can be weakened by HIV/AIDS, immune-suppressing medications (organ transplants) or other reasons.

How is Pediatric Human Papillomavirus (HPV) treated?

This condition can be treated with observation, with various creams or ointments to be placed on the wart, or with surgery.  Your provider will help determine what is best for your child. 

Pediatric Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Doctors and Providers