Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that causes several different diseases. Some types of HPV cause genital warts. Other types of HPV cause abnormal or precancerous lesions of the cervix, vagina and vulva. Some strains of HPV cause cervical cancer. Most types of HPV have no harmful effect at all.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that all men and women between the ages of 11 and 26 be vaccinated against HPV. The HPV vaccine, known by the brand name Gardasil, protects you against the types of HPV that cause most cases of genital warts and cervical cancer. When you get the HPV vaccine, you receive a series of three injections over a six month period. You receive the second injection two months after the first, and the third injection six months after the first. The Student Health Center Treatment Clinic administers the HPV vaccine, but remember to check with your insurance carrier to see if they cover the HPV vaccine. Call the Student Health Center Pharmacy at 919.515.5040 to check the cost of the vaccine.