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What is HPV?

Human Papillomavirus, also known as HPV, is one of the most common viral infections.  To date, some 80 million Americans have been infected with HPV, and 14 million new cases of HPV are expected each year.  Infection is preventable by vaccinating against HPV!

Our goal is to provide evidence-based, comprehensive information about the HPV Vaccination series to parents of adolescents and children in Georgia to increase knowledge and understanding of the importance of HPV vaccination.  HPV vaccination is cancer prevention!  Make sure that those you love are vaccinated!

 HPV consists of hundreds of different strains of the virus, some of which may cause types of HPV-associated cancer, pre-cancerous cells, or genital warts.  These cancers include cervical, oropharyngeal (back of the throat, base of the tongue, etc.), anal, vaginal, vulvar, and penile cancers.  HPV vaccination protects against the nine most common strains of the virus associated with these cancers, pre-cancerous cells, and genital warts.


What are the consequences of HPV infection?

Typically, HPV infection is cleared by the immune system on its own within six months.  However, if not treated or cleared by the immune system, HPV infection can result in severe consequences, including genital warts and HPV-associated cancers.  HPV has been found to cause roughly 91% of all cervical cancers, 75% of vaginal cancers, 69% of vulvar cancers, 63% of penile cancers, 91% of anal cancers, and approximately 70% of oropharyngeal cancers in men and women. 


How is HPV transmitted?

HPV is most commonly transmitted via skin-to-skin contact and intimate sexual contact.  HPV can be transmitted through any type of sexual contact (oral, vaginal, anal, etc.).  HPV is often asymptomatic, meaning that someone infected with HPV will not show signs of infection, increasing the importance of vaccination to prevent further transmission of HPV infection, especially among adolescents. 


All 11 and 12-year-olds should receive Human Papillomavirus Vaccination.

"HPV vaccines are highly effective and safe, and a powerful prevention tool for reducing HPV infections and HPV-associated cancers. ACIP recommends a 2-dose schedule for HPV vaccination of girls and boys who initiate the vaccination series at ages 9 through 14 years" - Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, 2016

Each year, nearly 14 million new HPV infections occur.  These infections predominantly affect adolescents and young adults, both males and females, aged 15 to 24 years old.  For most infections, HPV will be cleared by the immune system on its own.  However, for infections that persist, HPV-associated cancers and/or genital warts can result.


In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first recommended the HPV vaccination for adolescent females.  In 2011 this recommendation was extended to included adolescent males.  Most recently, the CDC and ACIP have updated their recommendations related to HPV vaccination to include catch-up vaccination for all persons through age 26.  This update also includes adults age 27-45 in the population of adults who may benefit from the HPV vaccination and encourages shared decision making with a healthcare provider to decide if an adult uptake HPV vaccination. 

HPV Vaccination has been promoted and recommended in the United States by public health officials and medical professionals since 2006.  HPV vaccination has been shown to be one of the most effective methods to prevent HPV-associated cancers.