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 six million new infections in the US each year and more than 50 percent of sexually active men and women will get it in their lifetime. 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.