Human Papillomavirus Information for Ob-Gyns
UPDATED & NEW ACOG Resources:
ACOG Bookstore: Looking for more copies of the FAQs for Patients? Click here.
NEW! A coalition of health care provider organizations, including ACOG and the CDC, have collaborated on a letter encouraging providers to provide a strong recommendation for the HPV vaccine to patients.
A study released online by the journal Pediatrics looked at HPV vaccination and adolescent sexual behavior. Study authors concluded that risk perceptions after HPV vaccination were not associated with riskier sexual behaviors.
Click Here to read an article by Rebecca B. Perkins, MD, MSc, "You are the Key to HPV Cancer Prevention", which appeared in the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Newsletter, The Forum, Winter 2014.
CDC RESOURCE: CDC's Immunization Safety Office has created Frequently Asked Questions about human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines. Expert Commentary Series on Mescape, Recommending the HPV Vaccine Successfully, with Dr. Anne Schuchat (Medscape login required, free). Talking to parents about the HPV vaccine.
Recently released data from the CDC indicates vaccination rates in girls aged 13-17 failed to increase between 2011 and 2012. Click here to read more. Additionally, click here for the most recent National and State Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13-17 Years, US, 2012.
Human papillomavirus (HPV)is the most common sexually transmitted infection. Approximately 20 million Americans are currently infected with HPV, and 6 million people will become infected this year. While 90% of these infections will be cleared by the body’s natural immune response, some types of HPV can cause genital warts and cancer of the following: cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and head and neck (tongue, tonsils, and throat).
Approximately 70% of cervical cancers result from infection with HPV genotypes 16 and 18.
As many as 64% of adolescent females have contracted HPV, and up to 75% of new infections occur among individuals aged 15–24 years. Human papillomavirus infection is transmitted by direct contact and sexual contact, including skin-to-skin contact and oral sex. Rarely, it can be transmitted from mother to newborn, resulting in recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP).
There are two HPV vaccines available. Gardasil (Merck & Co., Inc.) is quadrivalent, protecting against HPV genotypes 6, 11, 16, and 18. The bivalent vaccine, Cervarix (GlaxoSmithKline), protects against HPV genotypes 16 and 18. Both vaccines are given in three doses over the course of 6 months following a 0, 2, 6 month schedule. All three doses are needed to achieve the desired immune response.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends the vaccination of females aged 9–26 years against HPV, with the initial vaccination target of females aged 11 or 12 years. The vaccine is most effective if administered prior to active infection with HPV. A “catch up” vaccination is recommended for adolescents and young women aged 13–26 years who have not already received the vaccine or completed the series.
Receiving three HPV vaccine doses does not eliminate the importance of cervical cytology screenings, as 30% of cervical cancers are caused by HPV genotypes that are not vaccine preventable.
Visit the College's Adolescent Health Care webpage for more information on providing care to your adolescent patients.
For more information, visit CDC's section on HPV.
Last Updated: 3/24/2014
Human Papillomavirus Information for Patients
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 50% of all sexually active people get HPV at some point in their lives. There are at least 40 types of HPV that can cause genital warts or cancer in men and women. HPV infection can also cause warts in the throat and restrict breathing. This type of infection is called recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP). Currently, there are about 20 million Americans infected with HPV. Each year, about 6 million more people will become infected. About 90% of these infections do not cause warts or cancer and go away on their own. Some types of HPV are more serious. These can cause warts or many types of cancer. These cancers can affect the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and head and neck (tongue, tonsils, and throat).
Approximately 70% of cervical cancers result from infection with HPV types 16 and 18.
HPV infection is most common in teens and people in their early 20s. As many as 64% of female teens have been infected with HPV. About 75% of new infections occur among people aged 15–24 years. HPV infection is usually spread during sexual activity, including skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity and oral sex. Rarely, it can be transmitted from mother to newborn during delivery, resulting in juvenile-onset RRP. Getting a vaccine is the best way to prevent diseases caused by HPV infection. HPV vaccination is recommended for most people aged 9–26 years. The vaccine can be given to children ages 9 years and up. Pregnant women should wait until after delivery to get the vaccine. The vaccine works best in men before age 21 years.
There are two HPV vaccines available. Both vaccines protect against some cancers caused by HPV. Cervarix protects against HPV types 16 and 18. Gardasil protects against HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18. This vaccine also protects against genital warts. Both vaccines are given in three doses over a 6-month period. All three doses are needed to build up enough protection against diseases caused by HPV infection. The vaccines work best if given before getting infected with HPV. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends the first vaccine at age 11 or 12 years. Most people who have not had the full vaccine series by age 12 years should get vaccinated by age 26 years.
The HPV vaccines do not protect against all HPV types and do not prevent all cancer caused by HPV. The HPV vaccines do not cause serious side effects. The most common side effect is pain where the shot was given. Some people have mild fever, dizziness, or nausea.
For more information, visit CDC's section on HPV.
Last Updated: 2/27/2014