Infection with human papillomaviruses (HPV) is known to play a central role in the development of cervical cancer. Both host and viral genetic factors have been postulated to be important determinants of risk of HPV progression to neoplasia among infected individuals. In this report, we review epidemiological studies that have evaluated the role in cervical cancer pathogenesis of genetic variation in human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes and in the HPV genome itself. A protective effect of HLA Class II DRB1*13/DBQ1*0603 alleles is the most consistent HLA finding in the published literature. A consistent association between HPV16 non-European variants and risk of disease is also evident from published work. These findings are discussed. Gaps in our understanding and future research needs are also discussed.