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Vaccines to Prevent HPV
Doctors recommend that all girls and boys get the HPV vaccine series at age 11 or 12 — though it's possible to get the vaccine as early as age 9. HPV vaccination can protect people from serious cancers later in life.
HPV vaccination can protect men and women from the infections that cause most cases of anal cancer, mouth/throat cancer, and genital warts — as well as many cases of cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancer in women, and penile cancer in men.
HPV vaccine is given in 2 doses at age 11 or 12:
For teens and young adults who start the series at age 15 or older, HPV vaccine is given in 3 doses:
To get the best protection from the HPV vaccine, it’s important to get all doses on time — and before coming in contact with HPV. Experts believe that the vaccines protect people from HPV infection for a long time.
The HPV vaccine can protect girls and women from the types of HPV that cause most cases of cervical cancer and also protect people from most cases of genital warts. Additionally, it has been shown to protect against cancer of the vagina, vulva, anus, and mouth/throat.
HPV vaccine is recommended for girls at age 11 or 12, though it can be given starting at age 9. Doctors also recommend the vaccine for women ages 13 to 26 who did not get the recommended doses when they were younger. It’s important to note that women who get the HPV vaccine still need regular screening tests for cervical cancer (Pap tests).
The HPV vaccine protects boys and men from most cases of genital warts and cancers of the anus, penis, and mouth/throat. The vaccine is recommended for boys at age 11 or 12, though it can be given starting at age 9. Doctors also recommend the vaccine for men ages 13 to 22 who did not get the recommended doses when they were younger.
Additionally, doctors recommend HPV vaccine for men through age 26 if:
Last reviewed: November 2016
HPV (human papillomavirus) is a very common infection that spreads from person to person through intimate sexual contact. There are more than 40 kinds of HPV that can infect the genital areas, anus, and the mouth or throat. HPV can cause:
Most people with HPV infections don't know they have it because they don't have any signs or symptoms. This can make it easy to spread HPV to other people. A person may also not have any signs of an HPV infection (like genital warts) until a long time after sexual contact with someone who has HPV. Some people may get more than one type of HPV.
HPV is very common. Almost all men and women who are sexually active will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives. Most of the time, people don't know they have it and it won't cause any problems. HPV is usually spread during vaginal and anal sex. HPV can also spread during oral sex and other types of sexual activity with skin-to-skin contact. People infected with HPV can pass the virus on to their partners even if they have no signs or symptoms.
Very rarely, a pregnant woman with genital warts from HPV can pass the HPV infection to her baby during delivery. When that happens, the baby can develop warts in the throat (known as Juvenile-Onset Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis or JORRP).