Vaccines to prevent PV infection, utilising PV L1 virus like particles (VLPs) to induce neutralising antibody, are in clinical trial and show all the characteristics likely to be associated with success. Results warrant global planning for the deployment of VLP vaccines within a decade, as part of a program to prevent cervical cancer. Vaccines designed to treat existing PV infection by inducing therapeutic cellular immunity targeted to PV proteins are at a much earlier stage of development. The wide choice of potential and proposed antigens, routes and mechanisms of delivery, and possible treatment regimens suggest that, to move the field forward, surrogate markers allowing comparison of the relative efficacy of different vaccine approaches are required. These should be based on reduction in load of virus infection, and need to be validated in animal models or in man.