HPV stands for human papillomavirus.
HPV is a very common infection which usually shows no symptoms and goes away by itself.
The virus is passed on by intimate genital skin-to-skin contact, and can infect both men and women. It is not passed on by semen, blood or saliva.
HPV can still be passed on if a condom is used, as condoms do not cover all the genital skin. You can get HPV the first time you are sexually active, and from having only one sexual partner.
There are many different types of HPV - some HPV types cause genital warts and do not cause cancer, while other types can cause serious illness including cancer.