What is HPV?
Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States.
More than half of sexually active men and women are infected with HPV at some time in their lives.
Most HPV infections don’t cause any symptoms, and go away on their own. But HPV can cause cervical cancer in women.
Cervical cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths among women around the world.
In the United States, about 10,000 women get cervical cancer every year. HPV is also associated with several less common cancers, such as vaginal
and vulvar cancers in women and other types of cancer in both men and women. It can also cause genital warts and warts in the throat.
There is no cure for HPV infection, but some of the problems it causes can be treated.
What is the GARDASIL HPV vaccine?
GARDASIL is the first vaccine developed to help prevent cervical cancer, precancerous genital lesions and genital warts due to the Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
HPV vaccine is important because it can prevent most cases of cervical cancer in females when it is given before a person is exposed to the virus.
The HPV vaccine may be given to both males and females. In addition to preventing cervical cancer, it can also prevent vaginal and vulvar cancer in females, and genital warts in both males and females. GARDASIL is a three-dose series vaccine administered over six months. The second and third doses should be given at two and six months (respectively) after the first dose.
The HPV vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.
Who should get a GARDASIL vaccine?
The vaccine is routinely recommended for girls 11-12 years of age. It is important for girls to get the HPV vaccine
before their first sexual contact, because they have not yet been exposed to HPV. The vaccine is also recommended for girls and women 13-26 years of age
who did not receive all 3 doses when they were younger. While this vaccine is not routinely recommended for males, males 11-26 years of age may get this vaccine to prevent genital warts.
As with females, it is best to be vaccinated before the first sexual contact.
Who should not get a GARDASIL vaccine?
The vaccine is not recommended for anyone who:
Has had an allergic reaction to yeast, to a prior dose, or to any GARDASIL vaccine component
Is currently taking immunosuppressant therapy or is immunocompromised
Has a moderate illness with fever greater than 100 F
Is currently pregnant or planning pregnancy during the course of treatment
Has a bleeding disorder in which injections are contraindicated