Human Papillomavirus HPV

HPV Information

Human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI), can cause of genital, oral and skin infections. Many people who become infected with HPV will not have symptoms. However, some types of HPV can cause cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers in females while other types can cause genital warts, oral and other cancers in men and women.
Two HPV vaccines are available, Gardasil (HPV4) and Cervarix (HPV2). These vaccines protect against two types of HPV which cause 75% of cervical cancers. HPV4 also protects again two types of HPV that cause 90% of genital warts in both males and females. HPV Vaccine Recommendations
Doctors and nurses recommend the vaccine for preteens of all genders at age 11 or 12, before they begin sexual activity. The HPV vaccine is most effective at this age because it produces the most infection-fighting cells, or antibodies, during the preteen years. Getting the vaccine at this age also ensures immunity is already in place when they begin sexual activity later. However, if your teen hasn’t received the vaccine, it is not too late. Talk to their doctor or nurse about getting them immunized as soon as possible. The vaccine is available up to age 26 in most cases.
See the Washing State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control websites listed below for additional information.