Since its foundation, the purpose of the International Papillomavirus Society (IPVS) has been to promote worldwide exchange of ideas, knowledge, and research materials among basic, clinical and public health research professionals concerned with human and animal papillomaviruses and their associated diseases. IPVS also strives to facilitate research, and to promote the translation of research results into new clinical applications and public health policies. IPVS serves as the organizational structure for the field of biomedical scientists, physicians and other health care providers engaged in all manner of papillomavirus research, who have met since 1975, and annually since 1982.

In 2000, The International Papillomavirus Society (IPVS) was officially established, with its primary mission to manage the annual meetings and promote research into papillomaviruses and the diseases they cause. The international conferences have continued to grow, with increasing numbers of attendees and abstracts.  As vaccine, screening and treatment strategies for papillomavirus-related diseases have emerged, commercial participation in and support for the international conferences has also grown. IPVS and its members continue to foster the careers of new investigators through training, opportunities for collaboration, and funding of travel fellowships to the conferences and workshops. The society provides the primary oversight for the international conferences and coordination of fundraising and maintenance of the membership and general announcement lists for these meetings. It also is a staunch advocate for additional papillomavirus research, public awareness of papillomavirus-related diseases and opportunities for prevention and management, and international education.

In 2015, an open-access peer-reviewed journal was established by IPVS to serve as a vehicle for dissemination of papillomavirus-related research and IPVS policy statements.