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What is This HPV Vaccine? Should I Give It To My Kids?

So what is this HPV all about?  HPV (human papilloma virus) is a virus that causes 90% of genital warts in men and women, 75% of cervical cancer in women.  It also causes 70% of vaginal cancers and 50% of vulvar cancers as well.

So it is a big deal?

HPV is transmitted with any kind of genital contact with someone who has HPV.  Intercourse is not always necessary.  Many people who have HPV don't even know it because many of them don't have symptoms.  So this means you can get the virus or pass it on to your partner without knowing it.

In the United States, approximately 75-80% of men and women will be infected with HPV in their lifetime.  For most, the virus will clear on its own.  But if it doesn't, HPV can cause the above mentioned problems.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends routine vaccination with the HPV vaccine for girls ages 11-12, and for young women ages 13-26.  It can also be given to boys and young men ages 9-26.

There are a few vaccines on the market.  One vaccine covers 4 types of HPV and another that covers 2 types.

Talk to your doctor about these vaccines for your kids.



About the author

Dr. Benjamin Chen


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