Introduction

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Support for the HPV Toolkit is provided by Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck and Co., Inc.

Anogenital human papillomavirus (HPV) infections are nearly ubiquitous among sexually active individuals: data indicate that up to 80% of sexually active persons experience 1 or more anogenital HPV infections.1 The incidence of anogenital HPV infection in the United States is estimated to exceed 6 million cases per year.2

Persistent infection of oncogenic HPV types is the cause of squamous cell cancers of the cervix, penis, vagina, vulva, and anus, as well as other squamous intraepithelial lesions (SILs) that often are precursors to cancer.3 Increasingly, data confirm a link between one oncogenic HPV type, HPV16, and a subset of squamous cell carcinomas of the oropharynx.4

Nononcogenic (“low-risk” types) rarely cause cancer, but two low-risk types—HPV6 and 11—cause approximately 90% of genital warts.5 Occasionally, the same types cause oral and laryngeal warts and, rarely, recurrent respiratory papillomatosis.

The last 15 years have brought new screening technologies, vaccines, treatment options, and updated guidelines that have revolutionized the diagnosis and management of patients with sexually transmitted HPV and related diseases, especially with regard to cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccines.

The HPV Toolkit covers a range of topics, including cervical cancer screening, HPV vaccines, and other HPV diseases. The Toolkit also includes targeted counseling messages to share with patients.