HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

Why vaccinate adults against human papillomavirus?

  • In the US, there are 79 million individuals infected with HPV, with more than 14 million new infections annually
  • 80% of sexually active men and women are infected with HPV at some point in their lifetime
  • There are approximately 11,000 cases of cervical cancer in the US each year, most of which are due to HPV
  • In addition to cervical cancer, HPV cause other genital cancers, and mouth and throat cancers

Which adults need the HPV vaccine?

  • Females up to age 26 who were not fully vaccinated as adolescents
  • Males up to age 21 who were not fully vaccinated as adolescents
  • Males may be vaccinated up to age 26
Did you know...
HPV is responsible for about 70 percent of all cases of cervical cancer?

What happens when someone gets HPV?

  • Most people with HPV will not have any long-term effects, but some will get cancer
  • HPV causes 70 percent of all cervical cancers
  • HPV causes cancer of the anus, penis, mouth, and throat cancers

Why is the HPV vaccine important?

  • HPV vaccines protect against 70 percent of cervical cancers and 90 percent of genital warts
  • The HPV vaccine prevents infection with HPV strains that cause cancer of the anus, penis, mouth, and throat
  • There is no cure for HPV and although HPV will not cause serious illness for most people, there is no way to predict who will develop cancer because of the virus

FAQ: Since most people who get cancer are older, why can’t we wait and give the vaccine later in life?
Most HPV infections occur in the teen years and once you have it, there is no way to cure it. The best way to avoid the infection is to get the full vaccine series before the start of any sexual activity.


As of October 2016, CDC recommends 11 to 12 year olds get two doses of HPV vaccine—rather than the previously recommended three doses—to protect against cancers caused by HPV. The second dose should be given 6-12 months after the first dose. View additional information on the updated CDC recommendations.


5 Key Steps to Improve HPV Vaccination Rates

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID): Infographic highlighting steps to make HPV vaccination routine

Facts About Human Papillomavirus (HPV) for Adults


HPV Resource Center

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID): Comprehensive resource center with information for patients and healthcare professionals

HPV Radio Public Service Announcement (2012) - 30 Seconds

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID): PSA highlighting HPV as a cause of throat cancer in males; includes a strong recommendation for vaccination to prevent HPV infection

HPV Vaccination