The Next Best Thing to an HPV Cure: Protecting YourselfThe HPV virus can infect male and female genital areas that are covered by a condom, as well as areas not covered by the condom. Using condoms may reduce the risk of getting genital warts and cervical cancer, but they may not completely protect you from HPV itself. The best way to protect yourself from HPV is to not have sex or to only have sex with one uninfected partner who also only has sex with you (i.e., a mutually monogamous relationship).
HPV can be prevented with a vaccine. There are currently two different HPV vaccines.
Gardasil® (Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus [Types 6, 11, 16, and 18] Recombinant Vaccine) was the first HPV vaccine approved in the United States. It is approved to prevent cervical cancer, vulvar cancer, vaginal cancer, genital warts, and various precancerous genital lesions caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) in girls and women ages 9 through 26.
Gardasil is also approved to prevent genital warts in boys and men in the same age group. Recently, Gardasil was also approved to prevent anal cancer and precancerous anal lesions in males and females age 9 to 26 years.
The second HPV vaccine approved for use in the United States was Cervarix® (Human Papillomavirus Bivalent [Types 16 and 18] Vaccine, Recombinant). Cervarix is approved for preventing cervical cancer and precancerous cervical lesions in girls and women age 9 through 25 years of age.