Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus that is spread through sexual contact. Approximately 80% of men and women in the US acquire a HPV infection during their lifetime. Most of the time HPV has no symptoms so people do not know they have it.
There are approximately 40 types of genital HPV. Some types can cause cervical cancer in women and can also cause other kinds of cancer in both men and women. Other types can cause genital warts in both males and females. The HPV vaccine works by preventing the most common types of HPV that cause cervical cancer and genital warts. It is given as a 3-dose vaccine. The vaccine is FDA approved for females ages 9-26.