HPV Screening and Consultation
What is HPV?
HPV (short for human papillomavirus) is a virus you may not know too much about but you should.
HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that could cause significant consequences: cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers in females. Other types could cause genital warts in both males and females. And there’s no way to predict who will or won’t clear the virus.
HPV Types 6, 11, 16, and 18 are considered high risk.
- Types 16 and 18 cause about 75% of cervical cancer cases, 70% of vaginal cancer cases, and up to 50% of vulvar cancer cases in females
- Types 6 and 11 cause about 90% of genital warts cases in males and females
Who gets HPV?
Girls aren’t the only ones affected by HPV. HPV-related diseases can affect BOTH males and females.
Exposure can happen with any kind of adolescent experimentation that involves genital contact with someone who has HPV—intercourse isn’t necessary. Many people who have HPV don’t even know it because the virus often has no signs or symptoms. That means people can get the virus or pass it on without knowing it. For most people, HPV clears on its own. But there is no way to predict who will or won’t clear the virus.
How do I test if I have HPV?
HPV testing can be done at the same time as a pap smear in women. Women 30 to 65 years of age are encouraged to test for HPV every 5 years. There is a urine HPV test for men if desired.
Who should get vaccinated?
The providers at FHPIM start the discussion of vaccination with parents and children at their well child visits starting at 9 years of age. The vaccine is indicated for BOYS & GIRLS ages 9 to 26 years.
GARDASIL helps protect against 2 types of HPV that cause:
- About 75% of cervical cancer cases
- Approximately 90% of genital warts cases in boys and girls
- 70% of vaginal cancer cases and up to 50% of vulvar cancer cases
Like other vaccines your child may have received, GARDASIL works best when given before there is any contact with the relevant HPV types.