HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of more than 100 viruses that are usually spread through sexual contact. HPV infection is extremely common; there are more than 14 million new infections in the US each year and about 80 percent of sexually active men and women are infected with HPV at some point in their lives, but most people never know they have the virus. Most new infections are in people in their teens and early twenties. HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer and can also cause cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, mouth, and throat. The virus also causes genital warts. People can pass the virus on even if they have no symptoms and even if years have passed since they were first infected.

Learn more about HPV and the vaccines to prevent it in adolescents at adolescentvaccination.org and HPV Resource Center, and adults at adultvaccination.org.

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.

In 2018, NFID launched an HPV (human papillomavirus) awareness campaign (The Talk) in collaboration with DoSomething.org, a not-for-profit for social change whose digital platform reaches more than 6 million adolescents, to make conversations about HPV prevention easier. Read some of the inspirational stories from DoSomething members.


5 Key Steps to Improve HPV Vaccination Rates

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

Adolescent Vaccination Recommendation: HPV


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

Questions and Answers About HPV and the Vaccine

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)

Time to Talk about HPV!

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID): Blog post highlighting campaign to raise awareness about HPV and encourage teens and young adults to talk with their parents and guardians about HPV vaccination