It’s only natural for parents to have concerns when it comes to human papillomavirus (HPV) and their children’s health. Perhaps the FAQs below can help answer your questions about the virus.

If you have more questions about HPV and how you can help protect your child against certain HPV-related cancers and diseases, be sure to talk to your child’s doctor or health care professional.


How can my child get HPV?

Exposure can happen with any kind of adolescent experimentation that involves genital contact with someone who has HPV. Intercourse isn't necessary, but it’s the most common way to get the virus.

While your child may not be at risk now, the risk for getting HPV increases as they get older. That’s why it’s important to learn how you can help protect your child from HPV sooner rather than later.


Can my son get HPV?

Yes, males can get HPV, too.

For most people, HPV clears on its own. But, for others who don’t clear the virus, it could cause certain cancers and other diseases. Also, because there's no routine HPV screening test recommended for males, there's no way to know if your son has been exposed to the virus.


How can I tell if my child has HPV?

HPV often has no visible signs or symptoms. One can get the virus without even knowing it—and then pass it on.


Does HPV cause cancers and diseases?

Yes, HPV is a virus that can cause certain cancers and diseases later in life.


How is HPV linked to cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer is caused by certain types of HPV. When a female is infected with these types of HPV and the virus doesn't go away on its own, abnormal cells can develop in the cervix. If these abnormal cells are not found early through routine cervical cancer screening and treated, cervical cancer can develop.

The highest rate of genital HPV infection is found in sexually active females who are younger than 25 years old.


Is there a treatment for HPV?

No, there are currently no available medicines that treat HPV infection. However, there are treatments for the HPV-related diseases that may develop.

Talk to your child's doctor to learn how to help prevent certain cancers and diseases later in life for both males and females.


At what age should my child get vaccinated?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine HPV vaccination for both boys and girls at age 11 or 12, but it may be given as early as 9 years of age.

While 11 and 12 are the recommended ages for routine vaccination, females who are 13–26 and males who are 13–21 may still be able to catch up and receive HPV vaccination. Talk to your child’s doctor.


Know HPV
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Know HPV
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