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Johns Hopkins Health - HPV Vaccine: Not Just for Girls

Summer 2015
Issue No. 29

HPV Vaccine: Not Just for Girls

Date: July 2, 2015


Because the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine was designed to prevent cervical cancer, it is typically viewed by the public as something for preteen and young women.

But Johns Hopkins head and neck surgeon Carole Fakhry, M.D., would like to see significantly more boys and young men (ages 11 to 21) receive the shot as well. Here’s why:

  • HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet only 14 percent of boys ages 13 through 17 received all recommended doses of the vaccine in 2013, compared with 38 percent of girls.
  • Nearly 70 percent of certain head and neck cancers in men and women are caused by HPV.
  • The vaccine is recommended for preteens because in order for it to be effective, it needs to be given prior to HPV exposure.

Learn More About the Dangers of HPV 

Watch head and neck surgeon Carole Fakhry, M.D., answer questions about oral HPV, the HPV vaccine and more at

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