Blog: Does HPV go away on its own?

Published: April 13, 2023

HPV — human papillomavirus — is a common virus that can infect and affect both males and females. This virus spreads through skin-to-skin contact. A person may not realize they have HPV because most of the time, the virus does not cause symptoms.

In most cases, HPV does go away on its own over time (typically between 6 months to 2 years after infection).

However, certain strains of HPV can cause six types of cancers, including those of the:

  • Anus
  • Back of the throat
  • Cervix
  • Penis
  • Vagina
  • Vulva

Other strains of HPV can cause genital warts and warts in the throat.

There is no treatment for HPV. The only treatment is for the issues the virus causes, like warts, cervical pre-cancer, and HPV-related cancers. That is why regular screening is crucial – and why prevention is such a powerful tool.

The best way to avoid the risks of HPV is through the HPV vaccine. The CDC recommends that boys and girls start the HPV vaccine series at ages 11-12 — though children as young as 9 can also receive the vaccine. At this age, their immune responses are greater, and they only need to get two shots to complete the series for full protection. Starting the series at a younger age will also provide HPV protection to adolescents and preteens long before they are exposed to the virus.

When starting the HPV vaccine at ages 15 and older, three shots are required to complete the series.

The HPV vaccine is a highly effective way to prevent HPV-related cancers and conditions. Multiple studies attest to the vaccine’s safety, and it has been in use for nearly 20 years.

The mission of All for Them is to provide access to all recommended childhood and adolescent vaccines — including the HPV vaccine — to Texas youth in underserved communities.

The All for Them team coordinates pre-consented, school-based mobile vaccination clinics. When parents and guardians fill out and turn in consent forms beforehand, they do not have to attend the clinic if they have other commitments. This helps remove some of the barriers that could keep students from receiving this life-saving care.

The All for Them team at UTHealth Houston School of Public Health coordinates vaccine clinics at Aldine ISD, Goose Creek CISD, Houston ISD, and Spring ISD. The All for Them team at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth’s School of Public Health coordinates vaccine clinics at Crowley ISD and Fort Worth ISD.

“My hope is that we have a long and productive collaboration on multiple HPV prevention projects set in underserved communities, and see the impact of our efforts to reduce HPV-related cancers and diseases in Texas,” Paula Cuccaro, PhD, said of the partnership between UTHealth Houston and HSC.

If you have further questions about the HPV vaccine or All for Them, visit our FAQs, email us, or call us at 866-255-1811.