Genital HPV infection is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Human papillomavirus is the name of a group of viruses that includes more than 100 different strains or types. More than 30 of these viruses are sexually transmitted, and they can infect the genital area of men and women including the skin of the penis, vulva (area outside the vagina), or anus, and the linings of the vagina, cervix, or rectum.
All types of HPV can cause mild Pap test abnormalities which do not have serious consequences. Approximately 10 of the 30 identified genital HPV types can lead, in rare cases, to development of cervical cancer. Research has shown that for most women (90 percent), cervical HPV infection becomes undetectable within two years. Although only a small proportion of women have persistent infection, persistent infection with "high-risk" types of HPV is the main risk factor for cervical cancer.
Gardasil is administered intramuscularly as 3 separate 0.5-mL doses according to the following schedule: first dose at elected date; second dose: 2 months after the first dose; third dose: 6 months after the first dose.
Cervarix is administered intramuscularly as 3 separate 0.5-mL doses according to the following schedule; first dose at elected date; second dose: 1 month after the first; third dose: 6 months after the first dose.
Each vaccine series should be completed using the same product; you can not use HPV vaccines interchangeably within the 3 dose series.