The HPV vaccine is a vaccine used to help prevent the development of Human Papillomaviruses. There are currently three vaccines that prevent HPV infections approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Gardasil®, Gardasil® 9, and Cervarix®.
The HPV vaccine helps the body produce antibodies. These antibodies will bind to the virus in order to keep it from infecting cells. There are more than 200 related HPV viruses. 40 of those viruses can be easily spread through direct sexual contact. There are two categories for sexually transmitted HPV types: Low-risk HPVs and High-risk HPVs. Low-risk HPVs do not cause cancer. They can cause skin warts on or around the throat, mouth, genitals, or anus. High-risk HPVs can cause cancer.
HPV vaccines can help protect men from certain cancers caused by HPV and warts. The HPV vaccine is a series of three shots that is given over a six month period of time. The recommended age groups for HPV vaccines for men in the United States are:
In addition to the HPV vaccine, men can help prevent HPV infections through the proper use of condoms. Consistently using condoms the correct way every time you have sex can lower your chances of getting HPV. Although correct and consistent condom use can lower your chances of getting HPV, areas that are not covered by the condom can still be infected. This means that condoms may not be able to give full protection against HPV.
As always, we recommend consulting with your healthcare provider about any all health concerns.