We determined the prevalence of and the risk factors for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and abnormal cytologic test results in 312 adolescent girls (mean age, 16.1 years). Subjects had a median of 2 years of sexual activity and 4 lifetime sex partners. Cervical HPV was detected by use of L1-consensus polymerase chain reaction in 64% of subjects; half of those with HPV had >1 type, and 77% had >/=1 high-risk type. Independent risk factors for HPV were lifetime number of sex partners, age of partner, and douching. Cytologic abnormalities were common (20.9% of subjects had atypical squamous cells of uncertain significance, and 17.0% had high- or low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions) and were significantly associated with detection of HPV (P=.0001); however, most (51.6%) subjects with HPV had normal cytologic test results.