Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is a common virus that can lead to certain types of cancer later in life. Getting your 11-12 year-old child two doses of the HPV vaccine can prevent these cancers.

HPV can cause cancers of the:

Cancer usually takes years, even decades, to develop after a person gets HPV. There is no way to know who will develop cancer or other health problems from HPV.

  • People with weakened immune systems (like people living with HIV/AIDS) may be less able to fight off (clear) HPV infections, and more likely to develop health problems caused by HPV.

HPV vaccination can prevent over 90% of cancers caused by HPV, as well as anal, vaginal, cervical, and vulvar precancers (abnormal cells that can lead to cancer).

That’s why HPV vaccines work best when given at age 11–12 years, before contact with the HPV virus.