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Human papilloma virus (HPV) is a DNA virus consisting of approximately 8000 base pairs. HPV represents the most common sexually transmitted infection worldwide. Around 200 different genotypes exist. They are distinguished into low- and high-risk genotypes, depending on the risk of such HPV-associated lesions undergoing malignant transformation. The high-risk genotypes include HPV 16 and 18, which are responsible for a variety of human cancers. The most common malignancies that are associated with HPV infection are cervical cancer, oropharyngeal cancer and anal cancer. Screening for HPV precursor lesions in women has led to a drastic reduction in cervical cancer morbidity and mortality in the last 30 years. Unfortunately no such screening tests are available for other HPV-associated malignancies. With the advent of HPV vaccination programs a marked decrease in the prevalence of HPV was reached in vaccinated individuals. However, since these programs were initiated around 2009 the full effect on the incidence of HPV-associated cancers cannot be fully estimated yet.