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Hpv (human Papillomavirus)
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
is the most common infection spread by sexual contact. It can also be spread from a mother to her baby during delivery. HPV may cause oral and genital warts or tumors in your nose, mouth, throat, and lungs. HPV may also cause vaginal, penile, and anal cancers. You may not show symptoms of any of these conditions for several years after being exposed to HPV.
Common symptoms include the following:
- Painless warts
- Genital or anal discharge, bleeding, itching, or pain
- Pain when you urinate
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have warts in your genital or anal area.
- You have genital or anal discharge, bleeding, itching, or pain.
- You have pain when you urinate.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Treatment for HPV
includes relieving symptoms. There is no cure for HPV. There is treatment for the conditions that are caused by HPV. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about the conditions and treatments.
Vaccinations can help stop the spread of HPV. The vaccine is most effective if given before sexual activity begins. This allows your body to build almost complete protection against HPV before having contact with the virus. The HPV vaccine is still effective up to the age of 26 if it is given after sexual activity has already begun.
Who should get the HPV vaccine:
The first dose of the vaccine may be given as early as 9 years of age. Do not get a second dose if you had a severe allergic reaction to the first dose. Do not get the vaccine if you are pregnant. If you are sick, you should wait to get the vaccine until symptoms go away.
- All females and males 11 to 12 years of age
- Females 13 through 26 years of age, and males 13 through 21 years of age, who have not been vaccinated
- Men up to 26 years of age who have sex with other men, and have not been vaccinated
- Anyone with weak immune systems, including infection with HIV, up to 26 years of age
How the vaccine is given:
The HPV vaccine can be given with other vaccinations. The vaccine is given in 3 doses:
- The first dose is given at any time. It is most effective at 11 or 12 years old.
- The second dose is given 1 to 2 months after the first dose.
- The third dose is given 6 months after the first dose.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them at your follow up visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.