HPV stands for human papillomavirus. Some types of HPV are sexually transmitted. They can infect the throat and the genital area — the vulva, vagina, cervix, rectum, anus, penis, or scrotum. Some types may cause genital warts. Other types may cause cell changes that can lead to cervical and other cancers. Most types seem to have no harmful effect at all.
The HPV vaccine protects us against the types of HPV that cause most cases of cervical cancer and genital warts. Here are the answers to some questions people commonly ask about HPV vaccines. If you are trying to decide if you or a young person in your life should get a vaccine, we hope these answers help you decide.