Knowledge about the burden of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infections in Sub-Saharan Africa is very limited. We collected cervical samples from 262 women from the general population and 241 tumor samples from women with invasive cervical cancer in Mozambique and tested them for HPV genotyping by the SPF10-LiPA25 PCR system. Among the 195 women without cervical abnormalities by cytology HPV prevalence was 75.9%. In this group of women, the most frequently identified HPV types among HPV-positive women were in descending order of frequency: HPV51 (23.6%), HPV35 (19.6%), HPV18 (14.2%), HPV31 (13.5%) and HPV52 (12.8%). In women with cervical cancer HPV DNA detection was 100%. The type-specific distribution of the most frequent types in descending order of frequency was: HPV16 (47.0%), HPV18 (31.3%), HPV51 (14.8%), HPV52 (14.3%), HPV45 (12.6%), HPV35 (10.4%), HPV33 (4.8%) and HPV31 (2.6%). HPVs 16/18 and HPVs 16/18/31/45 were detected in 71.7% and 80.9% of cervical cancer tissue, respectively. While HPVs 51 and 35 were the two most common types in cytologically normal women in Mozambique, HPVs 16 and 18 remained the two most frequently identified types in cervical cancer. The introduction of an efficacious HPV 16/18 vaccine could potentially prevent the occurrence of 72% of cervical cancer cases and up to 81% of the cases if full cross-protection against HPVs 31 and 45 is assumed. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.