Schedule All Three Visits for the HPV Vaccine

HPV vaccine fullsizeThe vaccine for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is given in three separate doses over a period of six months. HPV affects almost 14 million Americans each year, and can lead to genital warts and several cancers. The HPV vaccine is one of the best ways to avoid the virus and cancers. This vaccine is recommended for males age 11-12 and females age 11-26.

Talk with your child’s primary care provider (PCP) about protecting your child from HPV. You can ask the doctors’ office if they can send you a reminder about each of these three appointments so that you don’t miss them. If you didn’t get the HPV vaccine as a child, talk with your PCP to see if you should be vaccinated. You can get the HPV vaccine even if you already have HPV.

If you’re sexually active, you should also ask your doctor about getting screened for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It’s confidential and free. Many STIs, such as chlamydia, have no symptoms and can be cured with the right treatment. If not treated, chlamydia can make it difficult or impossible for a woman to get pregnant, and can cause chronic pain. Be sure to talk with your doctor at every visit about your risks and how to protect yourself.