HPV infections are found worldwide.
Human papilloma viruses have been detected in the oral cavity of estimated 6–10% of children and adolescents, and in 5–80% in healthy adults. HPVs are found in genital secretions and skin shed-dings, which contain virus. Infected humans are the main source of infection. Asymptomatic shedding of viruses in body secretions facilitates transmission of infection to other human hosts.
The infections are transmitted primarily by skin-to-skin contact and by genital contact. They are transmitted:
· most commonly by sexual contact (HPV-16, HPV-18);
· by direct contact through abrasions in the skin and mucosa; and
· by passage through infected birth canal as for laryngeal papilloma (types 6 and 11).