HPV is a virus that infects the skin and mucous membranes. It is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States. There are more than 150 types of HPV, and about 40 of them can be spread through sexual contact.
HPV is responsible for nearly all cases of cervical cancer and many cases of anal cancer, vulvar cancer, vaginal cancer, penile cancer, and oropharyngeal cancer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Adults and Children 15 years plus*: 3 doses, on day 0, then 1 month later and 3 months after second dose.
Children 9 to 14 years: 2 doses, 6 to 24 months apart
*An “off-label” NHS recommended 2 dose programme is possible but MHRA has only licensed the 3 dose programme.
HPV induced cancers usually develop years or even decades after a person is first infected with the virus. Getting vaccinated can protect you from developing HPV-related cancers.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Most people with HPV do not have any symptoms. However, some types of HPV can cause genital warts or cancer. HPV causes cancer by infecting cells in the body, leading to changes in the DNA that can cause the cells to grow and divide uncontrollably, forming tuxmors. In the case of cervical cancer, HPV can cause changes in the cells on the surface of the cervix, which can eventually lead to cancer if left untreated.
HPV can cause cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, anus, and oropharynx (middle part of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils). HPV can also cause cancer of the penis in men.
There are vaccines that can protect against some of the most common types of HPV. It is recommended that children receive the HPV vaccine around ages 12 or 13, although it is also recommended for adolescents and adults.
Getting vaccinated can protect you from developing HPV-related cancers, and it can also protect your sexual partners from getting infected. The vaccine is safe and has been rigorously tested in clinical trials. It is important to get vaccinated before becoming sexually active, as the vaccine is most effective when given before a person is exposed to the virus.
Even if you have already been diagnosed with HPV, it is still important to get vaccinated. The vaccine can protect you from other types of HPV that you may not have been exposed to, and it can also help to prevent the development of cancer in the future.
It is important to practice safe sex to reduce the risk of contracting HPV and other STIs. This includes using condoms and dental dams during sexual activity. Regular smears and HPV testing can also help to detect the virus early and prevent the development of cancer.
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