HPV: Human Papillomavirus
The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. It is estimated that in the United States 6.2 million people become infected each year. HPV infects up to 80% of sexually active people by the time they turn 50. The HCH Clinicians’ Network Pediatrics Work Group compiled these resources.
HPV infection is associated with the development of cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer. Screening through routine Pap smears and treatment of abnormal Paps have resulted in the substantial decrease of cervical cancers, however, racial and ethnic disparities remain. The incidence of cervical cancer in African-American women is 1.5 times higher than in white women. The incidence of cervical cancer in Hispanic, Vietnamese and Korean women is higher than in white women. Worldwide, 260,000 deaths occur every year as a result of cervical cancer.
A different approach to managing HPV is to prevent the infection from occurring. The Gardasil® vaccine, which is most effective when administered before a person becomes sexually active, targets HPV types most likely to cause cervical cancers and genital warts (types 6, 11, 16, 18). More than 70% of cervical cancers are caused by types 16 and 18, and approximately 95% of genital warts are caused by types 6 and 11.
HPV vaccinations can be administered to girls as young as 9 years of age. The Federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that girls are vaccinated at 11 to 12 years of age. A catch-up vaccination is recommended for teens and women aged 13 to 26 years who were not previously vaccinated.
Cost & Paying for the HPV Vaccine
According to the CDC, the retail price of the vaccine is about $125 per dose ($375 for full series). Children age 18 and younger may be eligible to get vaccines, including the HPV vaccine, for free through the Vaccines for Children program if they are: Medicaid eligible; uninsured; or American Indian or Alaska Native. Children who are eligible for VFC vaccines are entitled to receive pediatric vaccines that are recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Some states also provide free or low-cost vaccines at public health department clinics or other public health agencies to people without health insurance coverage for vaccines.
Education & Prevention Resources
- CDC General HPV Vaccine Information | Site includes many resources about genital HPV infection and cervical cancer; vaccine information; clinical information for health professionals including guidelines and recommendations; materials for patients including Pre-teen Vaccine Campaign materials; materials for the media; references and resources | Department of Health & Human Services | Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
- CDC General Vaccine Safety Information | Department of Health & Human Services | Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
- CDC HPV Disease Information | Site includes links to facts and statistics, clinicians’ resources, educators’ resources, and more | Department of Health & Human Services | Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
- CDC HPV Vaccine Information for Young Women | Site content covers why the vaccine is important; who should get the vaccine; vaccine effectiveness and safety; access to free or low-cost vaccines; what vaccinated girls/women need to know; and other ways to prevent HPV and cervical cancer | Department of Health & Human Services | Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
- Cultural competency when working with youth | Advocates for Youth
- Family Planning & Sexual Health: Information for Parents | Seattle & King County Public Health
- Gay & Lesbian Health
- Genital HPV Infection | Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Fact Sheets available in English & Spanish
- How to Talk to Your Child About Sex | Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. | 2009
- HPV & Men | Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Fact Sheets available in English & Spanish
- The HPV Vaccine: Background, Coverage & Benefits | Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs Fact Sheet | July 2007
- HPV Vaccine Information for Clinicians | Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Fact Sheets available in English & Spanish
- National Campaign to Prevent Teen & Unplanned Pregnancy | Resources for adults who interact with children and teenagers
- Reports of Health Concerns Following HPV Vaccination | Centers for Disease Control & Prevention | Updated 2011
- Programs That Work to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, HIV & Sexually Transmitted Infections | Advocates for Youth
- Women’s Health Care: Show Me the Way to Go Home | Healing Hands | HCH Clinicians’ Network | August 2000
- Cervical cancer, Pap tests, genital warts
- Colposcopy | Healthline Networks, Inc.
- HPV Vaccine Information for Young Women | Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Fact Sheets available in English & Spanish
- HPV: What you need to know| Fact sheets translated into Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Hmong, Korean, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Urdu | Immunization Action Coalition
- What parents of pre-teens and adolescents should know about the HPV vaccine | Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Future Policy/What’s New
- HPV Vaccine for Boys? | Healthline Networks, Inc. | Nancy Brown, PhD | 2008
- CDC operator available to answer questions about HPV | Call 800-322-4636 operators can answer your questions about HPV in English or Spanish 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- High Cost of HPV Vaccines Limits Access in Surprising Ways: The Problem with Private Insurance | Rebecca Gudeman | National Center for Youth Law | Youth Law News | 2007
- Self-Testing Could Identify Marginalized Women with High-Risk HPV | Sheryl Ubelacker | August 2007