HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the U.S., with more than 20 million men and women currently infected and 6.2 million new infections each year. HPV is most common in men and women in their late teens and early twenties.
Vaccines can protect males and females against some of the most common types of HPV. These vaccines are given in three shots. It is important to get all three doses to get the best protection. The vaccines are most effective when given before a person's first sexual contact, when he or she could be exposed to HPV.
- Women: Two vaccines (Cervarix and Gardasil) are available to protect females against the types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers. One of these vaccines (Gardasil) also protects against most genital warts. Both vaccines are recommended for females 13 through 26 years of age, who did not get any or all of the shots when they were younger. It is recommended that females get the same vaccine brand for all three doses, whenever possible.
- Men: One available vaccine (Gardasil) has been shown to decrease the likelihood of genital warts. This vaccine is available for boys and men, 9 through 26 years of age.
Many people refer to HPV as genital warts, but HPV includes over 100 viruses. One-third of these viruses cause genital problems that affect both sexes, such as genital warts on a man’s penis or a woman’s vagina or cervix. In a small number of women, cell changes in the cervix may be precancerous. Genital warts can appear as small hard spots or have a fleshy cauliflower appearance, but in other cases warts are not visible to the naked eye.
As with all vaccines, it may not protect everyone who gets the vaccine and will not protect against types of HPV that are not contained in the vaccine.
Gardasil is given in a series of 3 injections, with dose 2 given 2 months after the first dose, and dose 3 given 6 months after the first dose. The most common side effects of the vaccine are pain, swelling, itching, and redness at the injection site, and fever. Individuals who are allergic to any ingredient in the vaccine or who have an allergic reaction after the first dose should not receive the vaccine.
Students may schedule Immunizations through myUHS or by calling 863.0774. UHS recommends that students find out ahead of time if their insurance provider will cover all or part of the cost. Three injections are needed. Students may elect to pay the charges at the time of the visit or have the charges added to their student accounts. [more information]
Immunizations are available through myUHS or by calling 863.0774.
UHS recommends that students find out ahead of time if their insurance provider will cover all or part of the cost. Three injections are needed. Students may elect to pay the charges at the time of the visit or have the charges added to their student accounts.