Human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted virus causes cervical carcinomas, and is associated with approximately 36% of oropharyngeal tumours where HPV16 is the predominant genotype. The cervical cancer incidence rate in Trinidad and Tobago is about two times higher than the worldwide rate. We have for the first time determined the prevalence and type distribution of cervical HPV infections among cancer-free Afro-Caribbean women from Tobago, and compared it with the HPV subtypes observed in their oral cavity. Thirty-five per cent of the women were cervical HPV positive. The most common high-risk type detected in the cervix was HPV45 rather than HPV16 and 18. The prevalence of HPV infection in the oral mucosa was 6.6%. The distribution of HPV genotypes in healthy Tobagonian women is different from that reported in studies conducted in European and North American populations. This may have important implications for vaccine introduction in this and other Afro-Caribbean countries.