Risks and Severity

The use of a condom is essential to protect yourself and your partners against STDs. It is recommended that women aged between 25 and 64 have HPV screening and that young girls aged from 12 to 14 years old (up to 18 years old) are vaccinated against HPV.

What are the complications of an HPV infection?

Around 70% of cervical cancers in the world are due to an HPV infection of types 16 and 18.

HPV infections often disappear spontaneously, a few months after contamination and the large majority of them disappear within 2 years.

HPV of types 16 and 18 can also cause cancer of the vagina and the vulva in women, cancer of the penis in men and cancer of the anus and of the throat in men and women.


A woman suffering from genital warts during her pregnancy can transmit the infection to her baby during birth.

The infection can manifest at a later age with warts in the throat (rare).

Sciensano compiles two reports each year documenting the evolution of STDs in Belgium. The reports are based on data-collection networks.

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