HPV infections are common. Risk factors for HPV infection include:

  • Number of sexual partners. The greater your number of sexual partners, the more likely you are to contract a genital HPV infection. Having sex with a partner who has had multiple sex partners also increases your risk.
  • Age. Common warts occur most often in children and adolescents. While plantar warts may occur in adults, they're more likely to initially surface during childhood. Genital warts occur most often in adolescents and young adults.
  • Weakened immune systems. People who have weakened immune systems are at greater risk of HPV infections. Immune systems can be weakened by HIV/AIDS or by immune system-suppressing drugs used after organ transplants.
  • Damaged skin. Areas of skin that have been punctured or opened are more prone to develop common warts. For example, people who bite their fingernails are more likely to develop warts around their fingernails.
  • Personal contact. Touching someone's warts or not wearing protection before contacting surfaces that have been exposed to HPV — such as public showers or swimming pools — may increase your risk of HPV infection.
Mar. 12, 2013