Today on Twitter is #IhadHPV Day and #HPVDay - a day dedicated to raising awareness and reducing stigma around one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. It’s also a day to bust some of the myths about HPV that have been circulating in the media lately (thanks again, Michele Bachmann).

Here are some facts everyone should know about HPV:

The Basics

  • HPV stands for the Human Papillomavirus, a very common infection, easily spread by skin-to-skin contact.
  • 3 out of 4 women have HPV at some point in their lives—but most don’t know it.
  • Most HPV infections go away on their own and have no harmful effect.
  • There are more than 100 different types of HPV.
  • 40 types of HPV can infect the genital area
  • Although most HPV infections go away on their own, some can hide in the body for years. This is why it’s impossible to know exactly when someone was infected.

HPV & Cancer

  • High-risk types of genital HPV can cause cancer of the cervix, vagina, vulva, anus, penis and throat.
  • The type of cancer HPV most often causes is cervical cancer.


  • There is currently no treatment to cure HPV (and like we said above, most HPV infections go away on their own).
  • Treatment is available for abnormal cell changes in the cervix caused by HPV.

HPV Vaccine

  • The HPV vaccine can protect us against the type of HPV that cause most cases of cervical cancer and genital warts
  • The vaccine is recommended for all girls, women, boys, and men ages 9 to 26.

Side Effects of the HPV Vaccine

  • Despite what Michele Bachmann recently said, the CDC reports the HPV vaccine has NOT been linked to mental retardation.
  • The most common side effects of the HPV vaccine are pain and redness of the injection site.

Enjoy this hilarious clip from the Colbert Report all about HPV and the HPV vaccine.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Rick Perry’s HPV Vaccine Mandate
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive

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