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Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus that can cause cancers and genital warts in people of all genders.
It is spread mainly through sexual skin-to-skin contact - this means you don’t even need to have full sex to spread the infection.
Did you know? HPV is a STI that is particularly common in New Zealand.
Certain types of HPV cause visible genital warts. Most often, the HPV infection causes no warts and people don’t know they have it.
Genital warts is not a serious infection, is easily treated, and usually disappears on its own. However, genital HPV that you can't see can cause changes to skin cells that, if not found and treated, can lead to cancer.
To find out more about HPV/genital warts, check this out:
Genital HPV can be prevented by vaccination, and it works best if you get vaccinated before you have sex with anyone. It is currently free in New Zealand for people of all genders aged 9 - 26 years inclusive (up to your 27th birthday).
To find out more about why and when you should get vaccinated, how effective the vaccine is, and how much it costs, check this out: