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You can protect yourself with the HPV vaccine infographic.

You Can Protect Yourself with the HPV Vaccine (Text Version)

HPV Vaccine and Adults: You Need to Know

HPV is a common virus and can have serious consequences

In the U.S. approximately 79 million people have been infected with HPV

14 million new HPV infections occur every year

8 in 10 sexually active people will get at least one type of HPV in their lives

[Ten stick figures stand in a line. Eight of them are yellow and two are grey.]

You can get HPV even if you’ve had just

[check mark icon] one sexual partner

The virus can be spread through

[check mark icon] oral sex and other sexual encounters, not just intercourse

Being infected can lead to:

  • Cancer of the cervix, penis, anus, mouth, and throat
  • Genital warts

The HPV Vaccine

Even if you have been sexually active, and possibly, already exposed to HPV, the HPV vaccine…

Offers protection against multiple strains of the virus that can lead to several types of cancer and other HPV-related diseases [virus icon]

Reduces your risk of certain HPV-related cancers by up to 99 percent when you are fully protected with the recommended doses [medicine icon]

The HPV Vaccine Can Protect Both You and Your Partner from Cancer

Each year, there are 12,000 cases of cervical cancer leading to over 4,000 deaths in women [outline of a female head]

Each year, there are 9,300 HPV-related cancers in men [outline of a male head]

So Adults Can Get the HPV Vaccine?

Yes. If you didn't get the HPV vaccine as a child or teenager, talk with your doctor. You can get the vaccine through age 26.

Also, if you're older than 26 and at risk of a new HPV infection, talk with your doctor. Together you can discuss whether the vaccine would benefit you. The vaccine is approved for people through age 45.

The HPV Vaccine is Safe and Effective

Clinical trials and ongoing research have shown the HPV vaccine’s protection remains strong for at least 10 years. There is no evidence to suggest this level of protection changes over time.

[Shield icon with a check mark]

The most common side effect of the HPV vaccine is soreness and redness where the shot is given. There have been no reports of severe side effects or bad reactions to the vaccine.

You are the key to HPV cancer prevention.

Make sure you are protected by receiving all recommended doses of the HPV vaccine.

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This product is supported by an independent educational grant from Merck, Inc. ACOG does not allow companies to influence its programs, publications, or advocacy positions.

PFSI022: This information is designed as an educational aid to patients and sets forth current information and opinions related to women’s health. It is not intended as a statement of the standard of care, nor does it comprise all proper treatments or methods of care. It is not a substitute for a treating clinician’s independent professional judgment. For ACOG’s complete disclaimer, visit

Copyright August 2020 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, posted on the internet, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher.