Strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV, cause genital warts rather than the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, states the Centers for Disease Control. Despite the similarity in the acronyms that refer to these viruses, HIV and HPV are dissimilar viruses, and their infections cause very different symptoms.
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection, as reported by the CDC. Almost all sexually active adults acquire an HPV infection at some time during their lives, but many strains of HPV do not result in any obvious symptoms, such as genital warts, and the immune system often spontaneously clears infections. Studies have linked some forms of HPV to the development of cervical cancer, spurring the development of vaccines for several strains of HPV associated with that disease.