Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common virus that is spread through intimate skin-to-skin contact. Most of the time, the body clears the virus. However, people who do not naturally clear the infection may have health problems that develop, including pre-cancers and cancers of the throat and mouth, cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, or anus as well as genital warts.
On-time vaccination of 9- to 12-year-olds prior to HPV exposure is the best way to prevent these cancers and genital warts. Those who did not start or finish the vaccine series can be vaccinated through age 26 years. Additionally, some adults aged 27-45 years who are not fully vaccinated can discuss with their health care provider if vaccination makes sense for them.