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Can you prevent human papillomavirus (HPV)?

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One way to avoid HPV and cervical cancer is to get vaccinated. Two HPV vaccines are currently available:

Gardasil. This HPV vaccine is recommended for girls and boys age 11 or 12, but can be given as early as 9. It�s recommended for females up to age 26, and men up to age 21, and may be given to men up to age 26. Talk to your doctor about your specific case. It�s also given in three doses.

Gardasil-9. This vaccine is for boys and girls and routinely given at 11 or 12, but it can be given beginning at age 9 and through age 26.

The key is to get them before having sex for the first time -- and before being exposed to HPV. You need to get all three doses of the HPV vaccine for it to work.

Practicing safe sex is another way to avoid getting HPV. Use a latex condom every time you have sex. Condoms don't protect against HPV 100% of the time, but they can help.

SOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology: "Genital Warts: Signs and Symptoms."

American Cancer Society: "HPV and Cancer," "Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer."

CDC: "Genital HPV Infection -- Fact Sheet," "Questions and Answers About HPV."

Cleveland Clinic: "HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment."

National Cancer Institute: "HPV and Cancer."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Cervical Cancer: Screening."

Vaccines.gov: "HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Vaccine."

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on August 26, 2019

SOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology: "Genital Warts: Signs and Symptoms."

American Cancer Society: "HPV and Cancer," "Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer."

CDC: "Genital HPV Infection -- Fact Sheet," "Questions and Answers About HPV."

Cleveland Clinic: "HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment."

National Cancer Institute: "HPV and Cancer."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Cervical Cancer: Screening."

Vaccines.gov: "HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Vaccine."

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on August 26, 2019

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