There are smart choices you can make when it comes to protecting yourself against HPV.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the only way you can totally protect yourself against HPV is to avoid any sexual activity that involves genital contact.

If you are having any kind of sexual contact:

  • Use a condom. Condoms may lower the risk of HPV if used all the time the right way. But HPV can infect areas that are not covered by a condom—so they may not fully protect against HPV.
  • Limit your sexual partners. You can be exposed to HPV by having genital contact just once with another person who has the virus.
  • Know that there is currently no routine screening for men. So as far as HPV protection goes, there is no way to know if a guy has the virus or is passing it on.
  • Get a regular Pap test. A Pap test doesn’t diagnose HPV. But, it can look for abnormal cells (that are caused by HPV) in the lining of the cervix before the cells become precancer or cancer. To determine if an abnormal Pap test is caused by HPV, your doctor can order an HPV test.
  • Consider getting vaccinated against certain HPV-related diseases. Talk to your doctor or health care professional to learn more about getting vaccinated.


GARDASIL is the only human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that helps protect against 4 types of HPV. In girls and young women ages 9 to 26, GARDASIL helps protect against 2 types of HPV that cause about 75% of cervical cancer cases, and 2 more types that cause about 90% of genital warts cases. In boys and young men ages 9 to 26, GARDASIL helps protect against approximately 90% of genital warts cases.

GARDASIL also helps protect girls and young women ages 9 to 26 against approximately 70% of vaginal cancer cases and up to 50% of vulvar cancer cases.

GARDASIL may not fully protect everyone, nor will it protect against diseases caused by other HPV types or against diseases not caused by HPV. GARDASIL does not prevent all types of cervical cancer, so it’s important for women to continue routine cervical cancer screenings. GARDASIL does not treat cancer or genital warts. GARDASIL is given as 3 injections over 6 months.


Anyone who is allergic to the ingredients of GARDASIL, including those severely allergic to yeast, should not receive the vaccine. GARDASIL is not for women who are pregnant.

The side effects include pain, swelling, itching, bruising, and redness at the injection site, headache, fever, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and fainting. Fainting can happen after getting GARDASIL. Sometimes people who faint can fall and hurt themselves. For this reason, your health care professional may ask you to sit or lie down for 15 minutes after you get GARDASIL. Some people who faint might shake or become stiff. This may require evaluation or treatment by your health care professional.

Only a doctor or health care professional can decide if GARDASIL is right for you.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please read the Patient Information for GARDASIL and discuss it with your doctor. The physician Prescribing Information also is available.

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