HPVs cannot proliferate by themselves. They penetrate the human cell and take advantage of its genetic mechanism in order to multiply. This means that they multiply together with our cells. To do this they must penetrate the basal layers of the cells of the epithelium of our skin and mucous membranes. Infection by HPVs cause changes to the cells and the tissues. These changes are called lesions.
Micro-abrasions in the skin or mucous membranes during sexual contact allow HPVs to infect the basal layer of epithelial cells and start multiplying, taking advantage of the normal cell regeneration mechanism of our body.