HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

Why vaccinate adults against human papillomavirus?

  • There are 20 million Americans infected with HPV, with more than six million new infections annually in the US.
  • At least half of sexually active adults will be infected with HPV in their lifetime.
  • 80% of women will be infected by age 50.
  • There are approximately 10,000 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 (three doses) as adolescents.
  • Males up to age 21 who were not fully vaccinated (three doses) 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?

  • The HPV vaccine protects against 70 percent of cervical cancers, and one of the vaccines (quadrivalent) also protects against 90 percent of genital warts.
  • The HPV vaccine prevents infection with HPV strains that cause cancer of the anus, penis, mouth and throat.
  • Once you get HPV, there is no cure. HPV will not cause serious illness for most people, but there is no way to predict which people 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 three-dose vaccine series before the start of any sexual activity.