Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is the primary cause of genital warts and almost all cervical cancers.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in Canada. An estimated 75% of the Canadian population will be infected with HPV at least once in their life and, at any one time, 10-30% of adults are infected.

To learn about the vaccine administration, eligibility, consent forms and the school immunization schedule for HPV go to the HPV Clinic page.

Transmission and prevention

Sexual activity is the primary risk factor for HPV. These safe sexual practices are important:

  • Avoid early initiation of sexual activity
  • Limit the number of sexual partners
  • Regularly use barrier methods (condoms and dental dams) when sexually active

Maintenance of a healthy immune system is important to the body's ability to fight off an HPV infection. Practices for a healthy immune system include:

  • Elimination of exposure to tobacco
  • Eating for health (follow Canada's Food Guide)
  • Participation in daily physical activity
  • Sufficient rest
  • Stress reduction

Links and resources

HPV Fact Sheet

HPV Poster

Information about HPV in Waterloo Region

Cancer Care Ontario

Ontario Ministry of Health

Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists