HPV and Young Adults

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Now is the time to get the HPV vaccine.

HPV (human papillomavirus) is a common virus that can cause genital warts and 6 types of cancer in men and women. If you are age 26 or younger and have not yet received the HPV vaccine, you need to get vaccinated to protect yourself against HPV-related cancers and genital warts.

The vaccine is inexpensive and easy to get. The sooner you get the vaccine, the better it can protect you from HPV-related cancers.

Why do I need the HPV vaccine?

Nearly 1 in 4 Americans have HPV, and most who have it are in their late teens and 20s. Most people with HPV don’t have symptoms. That means you can get it from someone who doesn’t even know they’ve been infected.

HPV infections often go away on their own, but when they don’t, they can cause 6 types of cancer and genital warts. There is no way to know if an HPV infection will develop into cancer or other health problems later in life.

There is no cure for HPV. HPV can cause:

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  • Cervical cancer
  • Vaginal cancer
  • Penile cancer
  • Vulvar cancer
  • Anal cancer
  • Oropharyngeal cancer (cancer in the back of the throat)
  • Genital warts
Patient getting a vaccine

Plus, there are many types of HPV. Even if you’ve had one type of HPV, you can get a different type of HPV later.

Get the HPV vaccine to protect yourself against HPV-related cancers and genital warts. Learn more about the HPV vaccine.

How do I get the HPV vaccine?

Ask your doctor for the HPV vaccine. If you can’t get the vaccine at your doctor’s office, it is likely available at other places in your community, like campus health clinics and local pharmacies.

Use the Vaccine Finder below for a list of places you can get the HPV vaccine near you.

Learn more about getting vaccinated.

How much does the HPV vaccine cost?

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The HPV vaccine is free for most people through age 26 who have health insurance, including those covered by their parents’ insurance. Even if you don’t have health insurance, you may still be able to get it for free or at a lower cost.

After age 26, the vaccine may cost you hundreds of dollars. Learn more about paying for the vaccine.

Learn More

LAST REVIEWED: JANUARY 2021