Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a very common virus worldwide that lives in the mouth and genital area. There are many different types of HPV. Some types can cause genital warts. Other types can cause cancer.
Cancer from HPV can happen in your mouth, throat, rectum (butt) or penis. Canadian men are four times more likely to get an HPV cancer of mouth or throat than women. Cancer takes time to develop. You can be exposed now and get cancer when you’re older.
HPV can be spread through any kind of sexual contact that involves touching, oral, or anal. Most people with HPV do not develop any signs or symptoms and may not know they have been infected with HPV. But they still carry the virus and infect others.
The FREE vaccine that protects against HPV is called Gardasil-9. It protects against nine types of HPV. These strains can cause genital warts, anal cancers, mouth and throat cancers and penile cancers.
The vaccine is FREE for guys 26 and under starting now. Infections from most common types of HPV can be prevented with the HPV vaccine. You can get the vaccine from the Health Unit or any health care provider.
Over 26? Talk to your Health Care Provider or the Health Unit for more information on how to get protection.