HPV (Human Papillomavirus) or Genital Warts
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). You can get HPV by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the virus. It is most commonly spread during vaginal or anal sex. HPV can be passed even when an infected person has no signs or symptoms.
Most people with HPV do not know they are infected and never develop symptoms or health problems from it. Some people find out they have HPV when they get genital warts. Women may find out they have HPV when they get an abnormal Pap test result (during cervical cancer screening). Others may only find out once they’ve developed more serious problems from HPV, such as cervical and other cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, or anus. It can also cause cancer in the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils.
The HPV vaccine can protect against diseases (including cancers) caused by HPV when given in the recommended age groups. The CDC recommends 11 to 12 year olds get two doses of HPV vaccine to protect against cancers caused by HPV. The vaccination series can be started at age 9 years. Teen boys and girls who did not get vaccinated when they were younger should receive the vaccine. The CDC recommends three doses for persons starting the series after their 15th birthday. HPV vaccine is also recommended for young women through age 26, and young men through age 21. HPV vaccine is also recommended for the following people, if they did not get vaccinated when they were younger:
· Young men who have sex with men, including young men who identify as gay or bisexual or who intend to have sex with men through age 26;
· Young adults who are transgender through age 26; and
· Young adults with certain immunocompromising conditions (including HIV) through age 26.
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