HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in America.
In most cases, HPV goes away without medical intervention. But HPV that does not go away on its own can cause health problems. Certain types of HPV can cause cancers including cervical cancer. In fact, the virus is linked to 98 percent of cervical cancer cases. Other types of HPV can cause genital warts.
You can help prevent HPV and cervical cancer.
Vaccines can protect males and females from the two most dangerous types of HPV that, among other health problems, cause 70 percent of cervical cancers. Vaccination is recommended for boys and girls at age 11 or 12. If they were not vaccinated when they were younger, catch-up vaccines are recommended for men through age 21 and women through age 26. It is very important to receive all three doses of the vaccine for maximum protection.
Vaccination does not protect against all types of HPV and women 21 years and older should continue to get regular Pap test to screen for cervical cancer.