- Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
- What is HPV?
- How do you get genital HPV?
- How common is HPV? Who gets it?
- What are the symptoms of HPV?
- Can HPV be treated?
- Can HPV be prevented?
- What are the risk factors for genital HPV?
- HPV and cancer
- What about other HPV-related diseases?
- Testing for HPV
- If you test positive for HPV, what does it mean?
- Will HPV affect my pregnancy or my baby?
- Why should women over age 30 with normal test results change to co-testing every 5 years and start doing HPV testing? Is that safe?
- HPV vaccines
- Who should be vaccinated and when?
- What are the benefits of the vaccines?
- How much do the HPV vaccines cost? Are they covered by health insurance plans?
- Do you need to be tested for HPV before getting the vaccine?
- Do women and girls who have been vaccinated still need Pap tests?
- Can cervical cancer be prevented without a vaccine?
- Is the American Cancer Society in favor of vaccinating against HPV?
- Do you want more information?
What are the benefits of the vaccines?
Both vaccines prevent the 2 types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers (HPV types 16 and 18). Gardasil has also been shown to prevent anal, vulvar, and vaginal cancers related to these 2 types of HPV. It also protects against the 2 types of HPV that cause most genital warts (HPV types 6 and 11).
The vaccines only work in people who have not already been exposed to these types of HPV. The vaccines will not prevent HPV in those who have already had these HPV types.
It’s possible that the vaccines also could prevent some other HPV-related cancers, including some cancers of the penis and head and neck areas. It will be some time before studies can prove whether they will prevent these cancers.
Last Medical Review: 05/02/2013
Last Revised: 05/02/2013