HPV Vaccine

Photo Credit: VCU CNS

What if I told you that you could get a shot, to help prevent cancer!?

Check this out… HPV (human papillomavirus), is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). It’s the virus that causes genital warts, and because HPV can cause problems like genital warts and some kinds of cancer, a vaccine is an important step in preventing infection and protecting against the spread of HPV.

That’s why doctors recommend that all girls and guys get the HPV vaccine at these ages:

  • Girls: from age 11 or 12 through age 26
  • Guys: from age 11 or 12 through age 21

Besides causing genital warts, an HPV infection can mean trouble for both girls and guys:

In females, HPV infection can cause problems with the cervix that may lead to cervical cancer. HPV infection also can cause problems that may lead to cancer in the vagina, vulva, anus, mouth, and throat.

In males, HPV infection may lead to cancer in the penis, anus, mouth, and throat. New research suggests that HPV may be linked to heart disease in women. Both girls and guys can get HPV from sexual contact, including vaginal, oral, and anal sex.

Most people infected with HPV don’t know they have it because they don’t notice any signs or problems. People do not always develop genital warts, but the virus is still in their system and it could be causing damage. This means that people with HPV can pass the infection to others without knowing it.


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