Boys, Men and HPV: Vaccines Safe, Protective

Recommended for boys and men 9 to 26 years old

In the United States each year, about 15,000 women and 7,000 men are affected by HPV-related cancers, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). If people are vaccinated, these cancers can be prevented.

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The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends routine vaccination for the human papillomavirus (HPV) for all males ages 9 to 26 years old, although it’s best to get it at a younger age so the body can build immunity over time.

Two vaccines are available for HPV, but only one vaccine — Gardasil — has been tested and licensed for use in boys and men. It prevents HPV types that cause most anal cancers and prevents genital warts. The vaccine is given in a series of three shots over six months.

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HPV vaccine safety

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has licensed the HPV vaccines as safe and effective. Researchers studied both HPV vaccines in tens of thousands of people around the world.

More than 46 million doses have been distributed to date, and there have been no serious safety concerns, according to the CDC. Vaccine safety continues to be monitored by the CDC and FDA, and studies continue to show that HPV vaccines are safe.

Mild effects you might feel are pain where the shot was given, fever, headache and nausea.

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How HPV spreads

HPV is transmitted through sexual intercourse, but it can also be transmitted through simple genital contact, oral sex, and can even be found under your fingernails. Even if your son is not sexually active, it is essential for him to be immunized.

HPV often has no symptoms, so it’s best to get vaccinated to prevent passing it along to your partner without even realizing it. Since HPV can develop into various cancers later in life, including anal, penile and throat cancers, it’s essential to do everything you can to prevent the transmission of HPV.

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