Gardasil: The HPV Vaccine

Gardasil is the vaccine recently approved by the FDA for protection against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).  HPV is a common and easily-transmitted sexually transmitted infection.  Some types of HPV cause genital warts, and some can cause pre-cancerous or cancerous changes in a woman's cervix, which can be found on a pap smear.  Many types of HPV do not cause symptoms, so people carry it without knowing.  Men are not routinely tested for the infection.  Gardasil provides effective protection against four types of HPV--types 6 and 11, which cause genital warts, and types 16 and 18, which can cause cervical cancer.  Because it does not protect against all types of HPV, routine pap smears are still recommended for women who have received the vaccine.

Gardasil is given in a series of three shots over six months.  It is recommended by The American College of Obstetricians and  Gynecologists for all females between the ages of 9 and 26 years of age, even if they have already been exposed to HPV.  Gardasil does not contain the HPV virus, so you cannot acquire the infection from the vaccine.

To receive the vaccine or to learn more about HPV, cervical cancer, and Gardasil, please call for an appointment