This vaccine protects against the strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) that cause cervical cancer and genital warts.
Human papillomavirus, also known as HPV, is one of the most common causes of sexually transmitted diseases. Certain types of HPV cause cervical cancer and other types cause genital warts. There are three HPV vaccines currently available. All three of the vaccines protect against the two main types of HPV linked to most cases of cervical cancer. Two of the vaccines also protect against the two main types of HPV linked to most cases of genital warts.
It is important to note that none of the vaccines will treat cervical cancer or genital warts.
The three types of HPV vaccines have different recommendations, based on sex and age. The vaccines are usually given in three separate shots over six months.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all females between the ages of nine and twenty-six receive the full series of either a Gardasil or Cervarix vaccine. The full series of the Gardasil vaccine is recommended for all males between the ages of nine and twenty-one. The vaccine is also recommended through age twenty-six for men who are immunocompromised or have sex with other men. It is also available to other men between the ages of twenty-two through twenty-six who want to decrease their risk of HPV.
You should contact your healthcare provider if you or your child has questions about the HPV vaccine. Here is a list of questions you can ask during your appointment.
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