Home Common Health Issues Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection


Learn more below about human papillomavirus, and how Papilocare® can support the body’s immune response to infection with the virus.

What is HPV?

Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is a very common infection, which affects the skin, and cells that line the inside of the body, including the genital area, vagina and cervix.

HPV is spread by skin-to-skin contact, and is easy to catch during sex. You don’t have to have sexual intercourse (penetrative sex), as it’s possible to catch HPV through any skin-to-skin contact in the genital area.

HPV is considered to be the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). Most sexually-active people will get HPV at some point in their lives, but it often causes no symptoms, and the body’s own immune system will clear it over time. As a result, many people will never know they’ve had it.

Can HPV cause health problems?

There are more than 100 types of HPV, many of which are completely harmless.

Some types of HPV can cause genital warts, which can be treated with conventional surgery, laser surgery, freezing or with a topical (locally applied) cream or liquid.

There is also a number of so-called ‘high risk’ types of HPV, which can increase the risk of developing cancer of the cervix, vulva or vagina.

However, it’s important to remember that cervical cancer is not common: according to Cancer Research UK, it’s the 14th most common cancer in women in the UK1.

If you have not been told you have a high-risk type of HPV, you won’t need any further tests until your next cervical smear test (pap test).

I’ve tested positive for HPV – what does it mean?

When you have a cervical smear test (also known as a pap test), some cells are taken from the cervix and tested for HPV.

Most people who get a positive test will have no problems. Your body will clear the infection within two years of getting it, and you will have no symptoms.

Some types of ‘low risk’ HPV can cause genital warts. If you develop genital warts, you can get treatment to remove them. This is usually done in a clinic that specialises in sexual health.

There are also a number of ‘high risk’ types of HPV. Over time, these can change the cells of the cervix from normal to abnormal, and these abnormal cells or lesions can lead to cancer. If you have an infection with a high risk type of HPV, which lasts a long time in your body, you are more at risk of developing cervical cancer.

The UK has a cervical screening programme, which offers a regular smear test (pap test) to women between the ages of 25 and 64. (Other countries have similar national programmes.)

This test is designed to pick up any early changes in the cells, before they have a chance to become cancerous, and remove them.

The cells in your sample are checked for high risk types of HPV. If you don’t have these, you won’t need further tests. If they are found, your sample will be checked to see if you have abnormal (pre-cancerous) cells. If you do, you will be offered treatment to remove these cells (also known as lesions) before they can become cancerous.

Are genital warts and pre-cancerous lesions different?

Yes – although both can be a result of infection with HPV, they are different health issues, and they need different treatment.

Some types of genital HPV cause warts, and these can vary in size, shape and number. Common types of HPV that cause genital warts are HPV-6 and HPV-11. These are known as low risk HPV types.

There are different treatments to remove genital warts, including surgery, freezing and applying a medicated cream or liquid.

Other types of genital HPV can cause normal cells of the cervix to become abnormal. These cells are known as lesions, and sometimes they can lead to cancer. There are about 13 types of HPV that can lead to cancer, and these are known as high risk types of HPV. About 70% of HPV-related cervical cancer is caused by two high risk types of the virus: HPV-16 and HPV-18.

If one of the high risk types of HPV isn’t cleared by the body, but causes a long-lasting infection, this can lead to pre-cancerous lesions of the cervix. These need to be removed before they become cancerous.

The results of your cervical screening test will tell you if you have HPV and if you have a high risk type. It will also tell you if you have any changes in cells that could lead to cancer. If so, you will be offered further tests and, if necessary, treatment.

However, it’s important to remember that most HPV infections will not cause cancer.

How can Papilocare® HPV natural treatment help?

Papilocare® is a natural treatment for women who have tested positive for HPV.

Papilocare® can help speed up the eradication of HPV from your body. For most people, your body will clear the infection in about two years. When used as recommended, Papilocare® can help clear the virus in 6 months.

Please note that Papilocare® is not a substitute for any treatment recommended by your doctor. It is a treatment based on natural ingredients that will support your immune system to rid your body of HPV.

Find out more about Papilocare®.

Where can I find out more?

NHS England:

Cancer Research UK: a leading cancer research charity:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: the national public health agency of the United States government:

Mayo Clinic: a non-profit academic medical centre in the United States:

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