Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus spread through sexual contact. Though most of the time HPV has no symptoms, certain strains of the virus can lead to cancer or genital warts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that both women and men be vaccinated prior to first sexual contact with another person, but if you weren’t vaccinated when you were younger, the vaccine is still recommended for all women through age 26, and all men through age 21. Vaccination consists of three shots, spread over the course of six months.
If you’re sexually active, consistent and correct use of condoms and other safer sex practices can lower the risk of HPV infection. It is also important to regularly get tested for sexually transmitted diseases and infections as part of a thorough physical examination. For more information about HPV and the vaccine, CLICK HERE.