Human papillomavirus

Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted virus. HPV is important mainly because it can cause cervical cancer in women and it is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death among women. HPV is also associated with genital warts. HPV vaccine protects against major types of HPV, but vaccinted women still need cervical cancer screening because the vaccine does not protect against all HPV types, that cause cervical cancer. HPV vaccine is recommended for girls 9-12 years of age. It is better to get HPV vaccine before the first sexual contact - prior to exposure to HPV. Catch-up vaccination is possible to recommend for women 13-26 years of age. The vaccine is given as 3-dose series.