Not "infect" others. That's common knowledge - sexual activity.

But how does it start? Literally from non-HPV carrier to HPV carrier?

  • $\begingroup$ Through sexual activity. Someone has sex with someone who is a carrier and contracts the virus. $\endgroup$ Aug 4, 2016 at 12:37
  • $\begingroup$ Are you trolling me? Because that is not what I'm asking, and I specifically stated that in the first 2 sentences. $\endgroup$ Aug 4, 2016 at 12:49
  • $\begingroup$ I would like to better understand what you're asking; please clarify. As it stands now, though, the comment is correct. How do you think it might happen? $\endgroup$ Aug 4, 2016 at 13:08
  • $\begingroup$ I would like to know how HPV can start in a person. Not infect. I guess one can say that I'm asking about the origin. $\endgroup$ Aug 4, 2016 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ There is no such think as spontaneous generation; it can't just "start" in a person. The virus exists, and it comes from someone else. It is spread person to person, penetrative, skin to skin, orally, or, in an infinisimally small number, perhaps from a contaminated instrument. From another carrier is the only known way to acquire it. If you are looking for the origin of the virus, that is a different question altogether, and should be asked as a different question. $\endgroup$ Aug 4, 2016 at 14:14

1 Answer 1


I believe what you are asking is the origin of the HPV virus, however currently, there is no real answer to that question. Nor is there an answer to how any virus came to be. Right now, there are 3 theories as to how viruses originated, all of which can be found in this article from the Nature Journal. The theories are as follows:

  1. The Progressive Hypothesis

This theory suggests a parallel between components of eukaryotic genomes called retrotransposons and viruses. More information can be found in the article enclosed, but basically, retrotransposons, which can be can be "transcribed into RNA, reverse-transcribed into DNA, and then integrated into a new location within the genome" -- just like retroviruses, are hypothesized to be the foundations for the evolution of viruses. Here is a link to a depiction of a retrotransposons' replication process, with a description. (if you're interested)

  1. The Regressive Hypothesis

The next theory is considered a bit less plausible than the Progressive Hypothesis, but again... no one knows. This hypothesis recognizes that there are some bacteria that have evolved from complex creatures into the parasitic organisms there are currently. This is known as regression. Summarized by this website is a description of this observation as it applies to viruses:

The Regressive Hypothesis: Viruses evolved from more complex free-living organisms that lost genetic material as they adapted to a parasitic approach to reproduction.

  1. The Virus-First Hypothesis

And finally, this theory assumes a world where viruses (or the primitive versions of them) existed even before cells did. This theory states that viruses were once just self-replicating units that, over time, (like many things in our world) got more complicated. This is similar to the Progressive Hypothesis in that it suggests evolution forward and not backward (regression), but it differs in that it suggests that before viruses are/were merely just units even simpler than cells that became more intricate.

Now back to your question, HPV is like any other virus in that there is no known origin for it. However, since the virus has been conceived (no pun intended), it has lived through sexual transmissions and is kept alive like so.


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