Who’s heard of HPV?

Many people may know of the Human Papillomavirus more commonly as HPV, which is a much easier way to shorten. Many people have struggled to understand HPV, what it is, and the importance of getting the vaccine. Read on to learn more about all of the above including the safety of the vaccine.

What is HPV?
  • A virus that can lead to genital warts
  • It can lead to various forms of cancer including:
    • Cervical
    • Other reproductive organs
    • Head and neck
  • It is the most spread STD in the U.S.
How common is HPV?
  • Approximately 8 of every 10 sexually active people will be infected with HPV at some time in their lives.
  • About 8 of every 10 sexually active people will be infected with HPV at some time in their lives.

HPV in the genital area is passed from one person to another through genital contact, most often, but not always, during sex.  The best way to avoid HPV infection is to abstain from any sexual activity. You can also lower your chance of getting HPV by having sex with only one person who isn’t infected with HPV.

Is there a vaccine to prevent HPV?
  • Gardasil® 9 protects against nine types of HPV.
  • The vaccine is given as a series of two or three shots depending on their age
Who should get the vaccine?
  • All 11- and 12-year-olds
  • All teenagers and adults between 13 and 26 years of age if they did not get the vaccine when they were younger
Why is the vaccine recommended for adolescents when it protects against a sexually transmitted disease?
  • Although most 11- and 12-year-olds are not sexually active, it is important to get the vaccine at that age for a few reasons. Studies have shown that the vaccine is more protective when it is received at an earlier age.
  • For best protection, all doses should be completed before sexual activity begins, and the series takes at least six months to complete.
  • Logistically, teens get busier as they get older, so it is often easier to get the doses completed at a younger age.
  • Studies indicate that protection is long-lasting, delaying the vaccine provides no benefit and only increases the risk of cancer.
Is the HPV vaccine safe?
  • Yes. it can’t cause HPV or cervical cancer or other cancers. The most common side effect is redness, tenderness at the injection site, or a slight fever.
Do people who receive the HPV vaccine still need to worry about sexually transmitted infections?
  • Yes, The HPV vaccine does not prevent other sexually transmitted infections.

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