Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV stands for human papillomavirus and can be found on the epithelium (thin, flat surfaces of the skin).  Most people who become infected with HPV do not even know they have it.

HPV isn’t just one virus. There are more than 200 types and some are riskier than others.  Sixty of the 200 types of HPV viruses cause common warts found on the body, while about 40 types, enter during sexual activity and thrive in mucus membranes.  Not all 40 sexually transmitted HPV types cause serious health problems.  Approximately 80% of HPV-related cancers are attributed to HPV type 16 or 18 and the other 20% are attributable to HPV types 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58.  HPV types 6 and 11 cause about 90% of all reported genital warts. 

The Vaccine

There is currently no cure for HPV once it has been contracted, but there are ways to help prevent HPV infection.  The FDA has approved a vaccine for all men and women between the ages of 9 and 45 called Gardasil.  The 9-valent Gardasil vaccine targets HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58.

The vaccine consists of three injections given at 0, 2 and 6 months.

To receive the vaccine, please schedule an immunization appointment via myHealthPortal or call 651-962-6750.  Our nursing staff would be happy to answer any questions you may have.  If you have received a previous HPV vaccination, but did not completed your series, please bring immunization documentation with you to your appointment so that our staff can serve your needs. 

Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH)