HPV stands for Human Papillomavirus. HPV is spread through intimate skin-to-skin or sexual contact. HPV infections are so common that nearly all men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some time in their lives.
HPV infections can cause certain types of cancers including:
HPV vaccine prevents infection from the HPV types that cause over 90% of these cancers.
HPV vaccine is routinely recommended for adolescents at 11 or 12 years of age to ensure they are protected before they are exposed to the virus. HPV vaccine may be given beginning at age 9 years, and as late as age 45 years.
Most children who get the first dose before 15 years of age need 2 doses of HPV vaccine. Anyone who gets the first dose on or after 15 years of age, and younger people with certain immunocompromising conditions, need 3 doses.