Human Papillomavirus 18

Human papillomavirus 18

Human papillomavirus 18 (HPV18) is a strain of the human papillomavirus, a virus that causes genital warts and some types of cancer. HPV18 is considered to be a “high-risk” type of HPV because it can lead to cervical cancer and other cancers of the reproductive system. The virus is spread through sexual contact, which is why it is important to practice safe sex and get tested regularly for HPV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Signs and Symptoms

In most cases, HPV18 and other types of HPV do not cause any signs or symptoms. If symptoms do develop, they can include:

  • Genital warts
  • Vaginal itching
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Pain during sex
  • Painful urination
  • Lower abdominal pain

Diagnosis & Treatment

HPV18 is diagnosed through a Pap test or HPV test. A Pap test can detect abnormal cells in the cervix, while an HPV test can detect the virus itself. If HPV18 is found to be present, a doctor may recommend further testing to determine if the virus has caused any cell changes that may lead to cancer. HPV18 is usually treated with the HPV vaccine, which is typically given to adolescents. The vaccine can protect against HPV18 and other HPV strains that can cause cancer. In cases where HPV18 has caused cell changes that could lead to cancer, more aggressive treatment may be necessary, such as surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.


The best way to prevent HPV18 and other forms of HPV is to practice safe sex, including using condoms and getting tested for the virus. Vaccination is also recommended for adolescents, as it can protect against HPV18 and other forms of the virus. Talking to a doctor or healthcare provider about any questions or concerns about HPV18 or other HPV strains is also recommended.