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What you need to know about preventive services

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Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine

This series of three shots is recommended for girls aged 11-12 before they’ve been exposed to HPV, but may be given up to age 26. Some women over age 26 may also benefit from being vaccinated. Talk to your provider to see if you’re eligible.

HPV is extremely common. Although most infections go away on their own, some types of HPV cause cancer (mainly cervical, but also anal, vaginal, vulvar, and oral) and other types cause genital warts. 

Two different vaccines (Cervarix and Gardasil) are available that can protect girls and women from the types of HPV that cause cancer. However, only Gardasil protects against both cancer and genital warts. For more information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/hpv/public/index.html.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

This two-shot series is recommended for all unvaccinated teens. Teens who are missing the last dose should complete the series in order to be fully protected against hepatitis A. Women should get this vaccine series if their partner or someone they live with has hepatitis A, or if they use illicit drugs.

The hepatitis A virus attacks the liver. There is no treatment for hepatitis A. While most people recover without premanent liver damage, the will probably feel very sick for a while. Not sure if you've been vaccinated? Routine vaccination began in 1999 so older teens and most adults have not been vaccinated. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/A/aFAQ.htm.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

This three-shot series is recommended for all unvaccinated teens. Teens who have started, but not finished, the series should get the remaining doses in order to be fully protected against the hepatitis B virus. Unvaccinated women should get this vaccine series if they have multiple partners, have a partner who has hepatitis B, have been diagnosed with HIV or another STI, have unprotected sex with a partner whose health status they don't know, share injection drug equipment (inlcuding needles or syringes), or have a partner who injects drugs.

If you were born in a country where hepatitis B is common (Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands, parts of South America) or were born in the United States to parents from one of those countries, talk to your provider about being vaccinated. You may be given the first dose and tested for the virus at the same time.

Heptatitis B is a virus that attacks the liver. It is spread through infected bodily fluids, including blood and semen. Infection can either be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). People with hepatitis B may not look or feel sick, but can still infect others. Vaccination is the best protection against hepatitis B. Not sure if you've been vaccinated? If you were born in the United States in 1991 or later, you were most likely vaccinated as an infant. Before 1991, the vaccine was only given to high-risk adults. 


Women who have sex with women

If you are a woman who has sex with women, you still need many of these preventive services. You can get chlamydia, gonorrhea, HPV, and other sexually transmitted infections from your female partners.  You also need to be tested for HIV, especially if you or your partners had sex with men in the past or still do. The HPV vaccine will help protect you from getting cervical cancer, which is caused by the human papillomavirus.