What is HPV?

Did You Know?

Each year, about 14 million people in the USA, including teens, become infected with Human Papillomavirus (HPV). 

While most HPV infections will go away on their own, infections that don’t go away can cause up to 6 types of cancer. 

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HPV can cause cancer.

Nearly everyone will get HPV at some point in their lives. Though most HPV infections clear up on their own some do not and may result in cancer.

HPV infections can cause cervical, vaginal, vulvar, penile, anal, & oropharyngeal (back of the throat) cancers.

The HPV Vaccine

The HPV vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine that can prevent HPV-caused cancers.

Because there is no way to know who will develop cancer or other health problems from HPV, routine vaccination is recommended for boys and girls aged 11 or 12. However, boys and girls as young as 9 can get the HPV vaccine.

The HPV vaccine works!

HPV vaccination can prevent over 90% of cancers caused by HPV, as well as some precancers. That’s why it is important that children and adolescents aged 9-26 get their HPV vaccine.

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Early protection works best.

The HPV vaccine is recommended between the ages of 11-12 along with other adolescent vaccines. This way, your child is protected long before they are exposed to the virus. The HPV vaccine can be given starting at age 9 and everyone through age 26 should get vaccinated if they were not vaccinated as a child.

Most health insurance covers the cost of the vaccine. However, if your child does not have health insurance or is underinsured, the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program provides vaccines at little or no cost to children up to 18 years of age. To find a VFC participating clinic near you, click on this link or call 211 for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the HPV Vaccine Safe?

Yes! The HPV vaccine is very safe and effective in protecting against the human papillomavirus. It has a history of safety, backed by more than 12 years of monitoring and research. More than 120 million doses have been distributed in the United States.

Does the HPV vaccine have side effects?

Side effects are mild and similar to any other vaccine. These last for a short time. Effects may include fever and redness, pain, or swelling at the injection site.

How many doses of the HPV vaccine does my child need?

9-14 years*: 2 doses
15-26 years: 3 doses

*Those with a weakened immune system may need 3 doses. Talk to your doctor. 

Click here for a copy of the HPV Vaccine Information Statement from the CDC.

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Contact Us

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Ileska Valencia
Program Coordinator
[email protected]

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Is a bilingual (Spanish/English) educational program for parents of adolescents aged 9 to 18. Act on Time! informs parents about HPV, the HPV vaccine, and HPV caused cancers. 

Program materials include infographics, flipbooks, videos, social media posts, and public service announcements (PSA).

If you would like to receive program materials, an educational session, or you simply have a question about HPV & the HPV vaccine email us.

The Outreach Program

Protect your children against cancers caused by the
Human Papillomavirus (HPV).

Get them vaccinated!

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This program was developed by the University of Puerto Rico & MD Anderson Cancer Center Partnership for Excellence in Cancer Research Outreach Core. Funding has been provided by the National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health under Grant [U54CA096297]; National Cancer Institute through a Community Networks Program Center under Grant [U54 CA153505]; and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number [2U54MD007587].

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Want to learn more about our programs, trainings, educational materials, and social media toolkits? Would like to collaborate with us or invite us to your event?

Contact our Program Coordinator, Ileska Valencia at [email protected] for more information on our Colorectal Cancer and HPV prevention programs.