The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus that both females and males can get. HPV vaccination recommendations began in 2006.
- The HPV vaccine has been well tested by the FDA and CDC and is considered safe for healthy girls and boys. Vaccination is now recommended at age 11 or 12 years for girls and boys.
- The goal of HPV vaccination is cancer prevention. Vaccination can prevent cancer in your child and his/her future partner.
- Females with HPV are at increased risk for cancer of the cervix, vagina, vulva, anus, mouth, and throat.
- Males with HPV are at increased risk for cancer of the penis, anus, mouth, and throat.
- HPV can cause genital warts.
- Someone does not have to be promiscuous to get HPV.
- HPV is common. Most sexually active adults who have not been vaccinated will acquire HPV at some point in their lives.
- Research shows that getting the HPV vaccination does not make kids more likely to be sexually active or to be sexually active at earlier ages.
- Screening is not an alternative to HPV vaccination. Pap tests do not always detect cervical disease before cancer develops, and there are no routine screening tests for many of the cancers caused by HPV infection.
- HPV vaccination works. Since HPV vaccination has been recommended, rates of HPV infections and associated cancers have dropped significantly.