Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV, or human papillomavirus, is a common virus that can lead to 6 types of sexually transmitted cancers later in life. You can protect yourself from ever getting these cancers by getting the HPV vaccine before age 26.

HPV infections are common.

HPV infections are so common that nearly all men and women will exposed to one type of HPV at some point in their lives. 

HPV is spread through intimate skin-to-skin contact. You can get HPV by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the virus.

Some HPV infections can lead to cancer

Most HPV infections (9 out of 10) go away by themselves within two years. But, sometimes HPV infections will last longer, and can cause certain types of cancers. HPV infections can cause cancers of the:

  • cervix, vagina, and vulva in women;
  • penis in men; and
  • anus and back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils (oropharynx), in both women and men.

Every year in the United States, HPV causes 33,700 cases of cancer in men and women.

Prevent cancer with the HPV vaccine

Everyone should have the HPV vaccine before the age of 26. 

Students with SHIP: make an appointment with the Immunization clinic on eTang to get the HPV vaccine.

Students without SHIP: contact your primary care physician and ask about getting the HPV vaccine.

Resources to learn more about HPV