The relationship between human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA in the genital mucosa and serum IgG to HPV-16, -18, and -6 was studied in a cohort of 588 college women. Among women with incident HPV infections, 59.5%, 54.1%, and 68.8% seroconverted for HPV-16, -18, or -6, respectively, within 18 months of detecting the corresponding HPV DNA. Transient HPV DNA was associated with a failure to seroconvert following incident HPV infection; however, some women with persistent HPV DNA never seroconverted. Antibody responses to each type were heterogeneous, but several type-specific differences were found: seroconversion for HPV-16 occurred most frequently between 6 and 12 months of DNA detection, but seroconversion for HPV-6 coincided with DNA detection. Additionally, antibody responses to HPV-16 and -18 were significantly more likely to persist during follow-up than were antibodies to HPV-6.