Q: What do I need to know about human papillomavirus (HPV)?

Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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A: Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is a DNA virus. There are more than 100 different types of HPV, but not all of them cause disease. High-risk strains of HPV are found in six different types of cancer, including cervical, vaginal, vulvar, anal, head and neck cancers. These high-risk strains of HPV are obtained through any skin-to-skin contact with someone who has HPV, including intercourse. The HPV vaccine, Gardasil, is approved for men and women ages nine to 45 and provides 90% protection against all HPV cancers. Gynecologists should start screening women for HPV beginning at age 30.
Brittney B. Laughlin, D.O.
OB-GYN with Women’s Health Alliance of Mobile
Read more in our Winter 2021 issue of BEST Magazine.