For most sexually transmitted diseases, there are no preventative vaccines. Luckily, HPV can be prevented with a series of vaccines. HPV can cause genital warts, anal cancer and, in women, cervical cancer.
Gardasil, the HPV vaccine, can prevent 10 of the virus’ 40 strains (those 10 cause 70% of all cervical cancer cases). The vaccine is only preventative, so it must be given before HPV has been contracted or before the patient is sexually active. The FDA recommends women receive the vaccine between the ages of nine and 26 and men receive it between the ages of nine and 15.
Gardasil is administered as three shots over a period of six months and is not effective until the full course has been given. Only minor side effects have been observed, including headaches, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, and rashes and soreness around the injection area.
With the prevalence of HPV, the vaccine is an easy way to prevent the serious health issues the virus can cause.
Learn more about the HPV vaccine in the below video: