Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted virus in India. There are about 40 types of HPV. About 20 million people in the U.S. are infected, and about 6.2 million more get infected each year. HPV is spread through sexual contact. Most HPV infections don’t cause any symptoms and go away on their own. But HPV is important mainly because it can cause cervical cancer in women. HPV is also associated with several less common types of cancer in both men and women. It can also cause genital warts and warts in the upper respiratory tract. More than 50% of sexually active men and women are infected with HPV at some time in their lives. There is no treatment for HPV infection, but the conditions it causes can be treated.
India approved the two HPV vaccines in 2008 and they have been available in the private medical sector. However, the vaccines are expensive, priced at between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000 for a single dose. The vaccination consists of a series of two or three doses depending on age.