Aug 26, 2020 11:00 AM


Photo of Deanna Kepka, PhD,MPH

Video Transcript

Hello, my name is Deanna Kepka, PhD, MPH, and I'm here to answer your questions that you may have about HPV, HPV vaccination, and HPV-related cancers.

What is HPV?

HPV stands for human papillomavirus. What people don't know is that this is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the world. I like to say it's the most common and least talked about STI.

Who has HPV?

80% of all sexually active adults will have HPV at some point in their lives and most of us clear this infection within six months to a year or two. Furthermore, one in four of us sexually active adults have active HPV infection right now.

Does HPV cause cancer?

HPV causes six different types of cancers. It causes cancers in both women and men. Most people associate HPV with cervical cancer, but it also causes a number of other cancers.

Cancers linked to HPV:

  • cervical
  • oral
  • penile
  • vulvar
  • vaginal
  • anal

Is the HPV vaccine safe?

More than a million doses of the HPV vaccine have been delivered in the United States and yet the HPV vaccine continues to demonstrate an exceptional safety record with no serious known side effects other than pain at injection site and risk of fainting. It is a very safe vaccine.

Should I get the HPV vaccine?

It is supposed to be given at ages 11 and 12 as a bundled immunization with the other vaccines that are given to adolescents at the same age. It can be given as young as 9 and as a catch-up immunization up through age 26.

hpv vaccine cancer prevention cervical cancer head and neck cancer Cancer Control and Population Sciences

Cancer touches all of us.

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