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HPV Vaccination

Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is the most common sexually transmitted infection, representing nearly three-quarters of all newly acquired STIs. While the vast majority of HPV infections will not cause serious harm, some infections will persist and can lead to cervical cancer. Most infected persons do not realize they are infected, or that they are passing HPV on to a sex partner. Luckily, there is a vaccine to prevent and be protected against HPV.

  • HPV transmission: HPV is passed on through genital contact, most often during vaginal and anal sex. HPV may also be passed on during oral sex and genital-to-genital contact. HPV can cause serious health problems, including genital warts and certain cancers.
  • Get vaccinated: HPV vaccines are recommended for 11- or 12-year-old boys and girls. In addition, for those who have not previously received the HPV vaccination, vaccination is also recommended through age 26 for gay and bisexual men (or any other man who has sex with men), as well as men and women who have compromised immune systems (including people living with HIV/AIDS). Catch-up vaccination is recommended for females aged 13--26 years who have not been previously vaccinated.
  • Be protected: A recent study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases showed that, since the vaccine was introduced in 2006, cases of HPV have decreased 56 percent among female teenagers 14-19 years of age.

Talk with your doctor about HPV vaccination and safe sex practices. For more information, please visit CDC's Human Papillomavirus (HPV) webpage.

Graphics / Images

  • Young Woman Smiling and Reading

    Genital human papillomavirus (also called HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection.

  • Athletic Woman

    HPV is not the same as herpes or HIV (the virus that causes AIDS). Both viruses can be passed on during sex, but they have different symptoms and cause different health problems.

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  • Young Asian Lady getting fruit

    Approximately 79 million Americans are currently infected with HPV. About 14 million people become newly infected each year.

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  • Kid getting vaccinated

    HPV vaccines are recommended for 11- or 12-year-old boys and girls. HPV vaccines are safe and effective, and can protect males and females against some of the most common types of HPV that can lead to disease and cancer.

    This is a description for image 1

  • Mouth infected with HPV

    There are more than 40 types of HPV that can infect the genital areas of males and females. These HPV types can also infect the mouth and throat.

    This is a description for image 1

Contact Information

CDC Media Relations
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Tom Frieden, MD, MPH


Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH

This report shows that HPV vaccine works well, and the report should be a wake–up call to our nation to protect the next generation by increasing HPV vaccination rates. Unfortunately only one third of girls aged 13–17 have been fully vaccinated with HPV vaccine. Countries such as Rwanda have vaccinated more than 80 percent of their teen girls. Our low vaccination rates represent 50,000 preventable tragedies – 50,000 girls alive today will develop cervical cancer over their lifetime that would have been prevented if we reach 80 percent vaccination rates. For every year we delay in doing so, another 4,400 girls will develop cervical cancer in their lifetimes.

Tom Frieden, MD, MPH - Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention



HPV Vaccination

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