What is Human Papillomavirus?
Human Papillomavirus is a common virus. Of the many different types of Human Papillomavirus, some are harmless and others can cause diseases of the genital areas. While most people clear the virus, those who do not can develop cervical cancer, precancerous lesions, or genital warts.
What is Gardasil and what is it used for?
Gardasil is a vaccine (injection) that helps protect against the following diseases caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Types 6, 11, 16 and 18:
- Cervical cancer (cancer of the lower end of the uterusor womb)
- Cervical abnormal and precancerous lesions (changes in cells of the cervix which have a risk of turning into cancer) as found by a Pap test
- Genital warts
- Vulvar precancerous lesions (the outside of the female genitals) cancers
- HPV infection
Why is vaccination with Gardasil important?
In the absence of vaccination, it is estimated that the majority of sexually active people will get infected by the Human Papillomavirus during their lifetime. A male or female of any age, who takes part in any kind of sexual activity that involves genital contact is at risk. The only way to fully protect yourself from Human Papillomavirus is to avoid this kind of sexual activity. Many people who have Human Papillomavirus many not show any signs or symptoms. This means that they can transmit (pass on) the virus to others without knowing it.
Who should receive Gardasil?
Young girls 9 through 17 years of age and women 18 through 26 years of age can receive Gardasil. The Quadrivalent vaccine works best when given before a person has any contact with certain types of Human Papillomavirus. Therefore, you should talk to your doctor to find out if the vaccine is right for you or your child.
How is Gardasil given?
Gardasil is given as an injection
You and your child will receive 3 doses of the vaccine. The doses are given as:
First does: at a date you and your doctor or health –care provider choose
Second dose: 2 months after the first dose
Third dose: 6 months after the first dose
Make sure that you or your child gets all 3 doses. This allows you or your child to get the full benefits of Gardasil. If you or your child misses a dose, your doctor or health-care provider will decide when to give the missed dose.
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