HPV is the name given to a very common group of viruses that have been linked to the development of cancers such as cervical, anal and genital cancers. The HPV vaccine is routinely given to girls in school however this is currently no vaccination offered to boys under the NHS.
HPV vaccine is not needed for travelling abroad but is a popular vaccine to help protect men and women against cervical cancer, genital warts and some other types of cancers. There are more than 100 types of HPV of which 40 types can affect the genital area. HPV is generally passed on through sexual contact whether it be vaginal, anal oral sex and therefore using adequate protection such as condoms is very important however this is still not fully protective and such why the vaccine is so important.
The most common symptoms of HPV are warts (especially genital warts). HPV can also cause abnormal tissue growth within the cervix which can then sometimes lead to cervical cancer.
The HPV vaccine is routinely offered to girls aged 12-13 when in school however currently boys are not vaccinated against HPV. The HPV vaccine is the most effective way of stopping girls/boys getting the types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers and other anal and genital cancers. The vaccine consists of 2 or 3 doses depending on your age. Anyone between the ages of 9 and 14 at the time of the first injection need only 2 injections at least 6-12 months apart. Anyone above the age of 14 at the time of the first injection need 3 doses of the vaccine with the following schedule; Day 0, 2 months and 6 months.
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