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Can Men Get the HPV Vaccine?

There is an FDA-approved HPV vaccine for both men and women. The Gardasil 9 vaccine is the only approved HPV vaccine in the U.S. It can prevent infections from most high-risk HPV strains. The HPV vaccine can be administered to boys as young as 9 through age 26. Two shots are administered over a six month period. If he’s older than 15, he will require three shots of the vaccine. The vaccine does not cure or treat an HPV infection already present.

The HPV vaccine has been widely tested and found to be effective and safe. There is no need for booster shots later in life.

While much of the data on the HPV vaccine centers around women, it is important to know that this virus can also infect men. The exact number of men who have acquired HPV is not known, but rough estimates indicate that almost 30%-50% of sexually active men may have the virus. HPV has been found in men of all ages ranging from 15-70.

How Is HPV Acquired in Men?

HPV is acquired in men through sexual activity. The virus can be transmitted by oral, anal, and vaginal sex. In addition, close skin to skin contact can also lead to transmission of the virus. The virus can be acquired during just one sexual encounter with an infected person.

What Happens After HPV Is Acquired?

For most men, acquiring HPV does not lead to an infection and the virus spontaneously disappears from the body. However, in some men, HPV may cause the development of genital warts and also increase the risk of penile, throat, and anal cancer.

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