March 2012

Human Papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted virus, with 6.2 million new cases annually. It causes genital warts and HPV- related cervical cancer in women, as well as an illness called respiratory papillomatosis. The virus is also a known cause of anorectal and throat cancers. The highest infection rate occurs among adolescents and young adults. The vaccine became available in 2006 for ages 9 to 26 years, with a recommendation for routine immunization beginning at age 11 to 12 years. It is a 3 dose series. It is expected to prevent up to 70% of cervical cancers. Side effects are minimal and rare and consist of occasional low grade fever and soreness at the injection site.

In 2010, HPV vaccine was licensed for use in males as well. In men, the virus is frequently asymptomatic, but may cause genital warts, and is responsible for types of penile cancer, anorectal cancer, and throat cancer. We recommend that all adolescents be immunized against this disease.

If you have additional questions or concerns about vaccines, please visit our website. The EVCC website has links to numerous helpful organizations that have great detail on the research involving vaccines.

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