Gardasil is a vaccine that targets four strains of human papillomavirus (HPV). Those strains are called HPV-6, HPV-11, HPV-16, and HPV-18.
HPV-16 and HPV-18 account for about 70% of all cervical cancers. Cervical cancer is cancer of the cervix, which connects the vagina to the uterus.
HPV-6 and HPV-11 account for about 90% of genital warts.
The vaccine is also approved to help prevent vaginal and vulvar cancers, which can also be caused by HPV.
2. How does HPV spread?
HPV is spread through sex. HPV infection is common. About 20 million people in the U.S. are infected with HPV, and by age 50, at least 80% of women will have had an HPV infection, according to the CDC.