HPV Vaccination Debate


HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in America. It’s so common that chances are you or someone you know has it. In fact, about 80% of people will get HPV at some point in their lives. That said, there are many misconceptions about what the virus is and how to prevent it from ever being a problem for you.

To help clear up this confusion, we’ve compiled answers to some of the most common questions about HPV: What is HPV? How do I get it? Should I get vaccinated against it? And more!

HPV is spread through sexual contact.

First, it’s important to understand that HPV is not spread through casual contact. This means you can’t get HPV just by touching a contaminated surface, like a toilet seat or towel, in the same way you don’t get Ebola from sitting next to someone on a bus.

HPV is also not spread by kissing or coughing or sneezing; these are all common misconceptions spread by people who don’t understand how viruses work and how they are transmitted.

To catch HPV you have to have sex with someone who has it.

There are more than 100 HPV types.

HPV is the name for the group of viruses that can affect your skin and genital areas. There are over 100 types of HPV, but not all cause symptoms or health problems. The most common types spread through sexual contact like genital to genital contact or anal to anal contact.

HPV is not the same as HIV, which stands for human immunodeficiency virus. HIV causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). It’s possible to have HPV without knowing it because you may not have any symptoms or signs until years later when cancer develops.

HPV can cause changes on your skin that look like warts in areas like the vulva (the outside female genitals), vagina, cervix (the entrance to the womb), anus and penis. Most of them are harmless but occasionally some can grow into cancerous tumours.

Most people who have HPV don’t even know it.

You don’t know you have HPV. Most people don’t. Not only that, but most people with HPV don’t even know they have it and will never develop cancer from it. So how can we be so sure that vaccinating our children against the virus is safe? Well, let me count the ways…

  • There are over 200 types of HPV out there; some cause genital warts and others can lead to cervical cancer or penile cancer (if you’re a man). But only around 10% of all types cause these kinds of cancers.
  • The vaccine doesn’t prevent all of them—only four strains are covered in the vaccine:6, 11, 16 and 18. These strains account for 70% of cervical cancers seen today! It also protects against 90%+ of anal cancers caused by HPV-16/18 infections too (from what I’ve read). This goes back to my point about how most people who do get infected with any kind see no symptoms whatsoever until its too late – which leads me into my next point…

Most people with HPV will never develop cancer.

When you hear the word “cancer,” you might think of a terrifying disease that can only be cured by chemotherapy. But most cancers are actually slow-growing and treatable. At least 8 out of 10 people who have cancer survive at least 5 years after diagnosis, according to the American Cancer Society.

What’s more, HPV is incredibly common—about 75% of sexually active men and women will get HPV at some point in their lives. And most people with HPV won’t even know it because they don’t show any symptoms or have any health problems related to it. In fact, about two-thirds of the population will be exposed to one form or another at some point in their lives without ever knowing—and most people with HPV won’t develop cancer!

The vaccine doesn’t protect against all cancer-causing types of the virus.

The vaccine does not protect against all types of cancer-causing HPV. In fact, it only protects against two types: HPV 16 and HPV 18.

HPV is a very common virus that can cause genital warts in men and women, as well as certain cancers such as cervical cancer in women. However, there are over 100 different strains of the virus; some are associated with cancer and others aren’t (like the ones found on your hands). The vaccines protect against two strains that cause about 70% of cervical cancers but not any other kinds—which means they don’t offer total protection against all forms of cervical cancer or other forms caused by this virus.

The vaccine is only approved to prevent infection by nine specific HPV types.

You may be wondering what the difference is between vaccination and regular HPV testing. The vaccine is only approved to prevent infection by nine specific HPV types. That means it can protect you from getting some of the most common types of HPV that cause cervical cancer, but not all of them.

To find out if you’ve been infected with an HPV type that isn’t covered by the vaccine, your doctor will test a sample of your cells collected through a Pap test or liquid-based cytology (LBC). If there are signs of abnormal cells, they will send them off for further analysis to find out whether they are pre-cancerous or cancerous cells.

There’s no evidence that the vaccine has any serious side effects.

The HPV vaccine is safe. There are no serious side effects, and most people who get it don’t have any reactions at all.

However, the HPV vaccine can cause mild side effects such as pain, swelling and redness at the injection site; fainting; dizziness; nausea and vomiting within 24 hours after getting the shot; itching; headache with stomach ache or diarrhea up to 7 days after receiving your vaccination (this effect is more common in women than men). In some rare cases, there have been reports of aseptic meningitis (inflammation of the membranes surrounding your brain), Guillain Barré syndrome (a disorder that affects nerve cells in your spinal cord) or Bell’s palsy (a paralysis affecting one half of your face) following receiving an HPV vaccination. More research is needed on these possible side effects before we know whether they’re caused by the vaccine itself or something else entirely.

The CDC recommends that anyone who has had an allergic reaction to a previous dose should not get another dose unless advised by a healthcare professional because serious side effects could occur if you receive another dose too soon after having a severe reaction to it previously.”

The vaccine is recommended for males too, not just females.

The HPV vaccine is recommended for males too, not just females. This is because the vaccine can protect against some of the strains of HPV that are linked to cancers in men and women.

The vaccine is also recommended for males because they can get HPV too. And even though it’s rare, some types of HPV that cause genital warts and other conditions may also be passed to women or men during sex if you don’t have them already (and you might not know it). The good news is that with this vaccine, you could lower your chances of getting those types of cancer-causing HPVs!

Finally, the HPV vaccine is recommended for men because they can pass these viruses onto other people through sexual contact; this includes oral sex as well as vaginal and anal intercourse—so it’s important no matter how many partners you’ve had!

You must get two doses of the vaccine a few months apart to be protected against the virus that causes cervical cancer and genital warts.

If you’re a preteen or teenager, you need two doses of the HPV vaccine to be protected against the virus that causes cervical cancer and genital warts. The vaccine is given in two shots—the first dose is usually given at age 9-14, and the second dose 6 months after the first. The second shot is important because it allows your body to build up immunity before you’re exposed to HPV through sex or skin-to-skin contact with someone who has it.

The vaccine isn’t 100% effective however, so it’s important that people who are vaccinated get regular cervical cancer screenings with Pap tests every three years starting at age 21 regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not (learn more about cervical cancer screening here).

The vaccination is recommended for young people and for older people, but in 2016 about 40% of teen girls had not gotten the shots yet.

The vaccination is recommended for young people and for older people, but in 2016 about 40% of teen girls had not gotten the shots yet.

The HPV vaccine is not required, but it’s recommended that both girls and boys get vaccinated.


The HPV vaccine is an important tool for preventing cancer and other diseases. But it’s only effective when it’s given to kids before they start having sex and risking exposure to the virus. In order for this vaccine to be successful, we need more parents and educators talking about why it’s important for young people to get vaccinated against HPV.