Human papillomavirus (HPV)


  • Adolescent Vaccination Recommendation: Routine administration is recommended for males and females at 11-12 years of age as a three-dose series at 0, 2, and 6 months. It is also recommended for females age 13 through 26 years and males age 13 through 21 years, who did not get any or all of the recommended vaccine doses when they were younger. Males may receive the vaccine through 26 years of age and should contact their doctor to see if vaccination is appropriate for them.

About human papillomavirus

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of more than 100 viruses that are usually spread through sexual contact. HPV has been associated with cervical cancer and anogenital cancers such as cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, and anus. Some studies also support a role of genital types of HPV in non-genital cancers including oral cavity and throat cancers. 

There are currently two vaccines available to prevent infection with HPV (Cervarix® and Gardasil®). Both vaccines can be given to females; only Gardasil® can be given to males. Both vaccines protect against strains 16 and 18; these strains are responsible for about 70 percent of cervical cancers. Gardasil® also protects against strains 6 and 11, which are associated with 90 percent of genital warts. HPV infection can also be prevented by abstaining from sexual contact. Neither vaccine eliminates the need for cervical cancer screening, because the vaccines do not protect against all HPV infections that cause cervical cancer.