Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is so common that nearly all men and women get it at some point in their lives (through intimate contact). About 79 million Americans, most in their late teens and early 20s, are infected with HPV. 

There are many different types of HPV. Some strains of HPV can cause cancer.

  • In women, HPV causes 19,000 cancers each year. Cervical cancer is the most common.
  • In men, HPV causes 8,000 cancers each year. Oropharyngeal cancers are the most common.

The HPV vaccine is very safe and effective. Side effects are minimal.

  • The HPV vaccine is recommended for both males and females.
  • The HPV vaccine is given in three shots over six months.

Immune response is optimal when the HPV vaccine is given around ages 11-12, but the HPV vaccine is also recommended for teens and young adults who have not completed the series of shots.

To learn more about HPV, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.