What are the benefits of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
For women, the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine protects against cervical cancer, and for both men and women it protects against genital warts and several oral and anal cancers. The Centers for Disease Control and Protection says HPV infections affect almost half of all sexually active people in the U.S. The way to avoid infection is to be inoculated before you engage in sexual activity -- not after.
“The fact that we now have a simple and safe way to provide protection against viruses that are the causative agent for approximately 70 percent of cervical cancers and at least 50 percent of precancerous lesions is a huge deal,” says UCLA gynecologic oncologist Sanaz Memarzadeh, M.D., Ph.D.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States; it is believed that at least half of sexually active people acquire one of the virus’s more than 40 strains during their lifetime, in most cases without knowing it. Dr. Memarzadeh explains that for a majority of carriers, the immune system clears the virus before it causes any symptoms or abnormalities. But for some, she says, HPV produces cell changes that can lead to cancer -- cervical as well as less common but equally serious malignancies, including cancers of the vulva, vagina, anus, and head and neck.
Jennifer N. Caudle, DO
Family Medicine

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that can cause conditions like cervical cancer and genital warts, and the vaccine can protect against common strains. Watch family medicine physician Jennifer Caudle, DO, discuss the benefits of the HPV vaccine.

Michael J. Robinson, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
One of the advances in preventing cervical cancer has been the development of a vaccine against the human papillomavirus. Watch as Michael Robinson, MD an OB/GYN at West Valley Medical Center explains the advantage of the HPV vaccine.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.