HPV or human papillomavirus is a common family of viruses that causes infection of the skin or mucous membranes of various areas of the body.
Some types of HPV are more harmful than others.
Some types can cause changes in cells on the cervix, vulva, anus, penis, mouth and throat, sometimes leading to cancer. Other types can cause warts in the genital area.
HPV causes almost all cervical cancers and many oral cancers in young people in the United States. It's important for parents to talk about getting the HPV vaccine with their children.
The HPV vaccine is most effective if you get it at a younger age, before becoming sexually active. Both girls and boys should get HPV vaccine, starting at age 11–12 years. Most girls and boys 9-14 years old should get two doses six to 12 months apart. People who start HPV vaccination at age 15 years or older should get three doses over six months.