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The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

UT Extension TEAM Up Tennessee

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HPV Toolkit: Parents

You play a very important role in the health of your children. You are the gatekeeper to the health decisions that affect them. Knowing your options will help you to make informed and confident decisions. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) has gained mainstream attention in recent years because, unfortunately, it has become a widespread problem. In most cases, HPV does not produce any symptoms, so many people have HPV and don't know it. This is, in part, why it has spread so rampantly.

Currently, there are two vaccines available: Gardasil and Cervarix. These vaccines protect against the high-risk forms of HPV that lead to cervical cancer as well as other forms of HPV that cause genital warts and some less common cancers. Both vaccines are available for girls aged 9-26. Only Gardasil is available for boys aged 9-26. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends that girls and boys receive the HPV vaccine at their adolescent check-up (age 11-12), before they have a higher risk of being exposed to HPV. For more specific information about HPV and the HPV vaccine, see the links below along with the HPV Fact Zone. We hope that this information will help you feel confident about the decisions you reach concerning the HPV vaccine and your children.