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Human papillomavirus (HPV)

The HPV vaccine will help to prevent HPV infection which can cause genital warts and HPV-associated cancers.

HPV infection is a very common infection. The majority of HPV infections do not cause any symptoms and infections usually clear up on their own.

There are over 100 different types of HPV that can infect the skin and mucous membranes (for example the throat, anus and cervix). Persistence of some types of HPV infections can lead to cancers e.g. HPV types 16 and 18 cause the majority of HPV associated cancers, notably anal, throat and penile cancer in men and cervical cancer in women.

Other types of HPV such as 6 and 11 cause more than 90% of genital warts.

In Ireland, a HPV programme for all girls in 1st year of second level schools has been in place since May 2010. The national HPV vaccine programme may be extended to adolescent boys in the future.

In July 2018, the National Immunisation Committee (NIAC) recommended the HPV vaccine for men and women living with HIV up to and including 26 years of age and for all men who have sex with men (MSM), including MSM living with HIV, up to and including 45 years of age.

The vaccine is available through many STI and HIV clinics.  Ask a nurse or doctor at your clinic for more information.

More information on the HPV vaccine is available for:

More information on genital warts is available in the Genital Warts patient information leaflet.