HPV Vaccination

Risk Factors:

  • HPV is so common that nearly all men and women get it at some point in their lives. HPV is transmitted through intimate skin-to-skin contact, and can be passed even when an infected person has no signs or symptoms. You can develop symptoms years after being infected, making it hard to know when you first became infected.
  • In most cases, HPV goes away on its own and does not cause any health problems. But when HPV does not go away, it can cause health problems like genital warts and cancer.
  • HPV cancers include cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, or anus. HPV infection can also cause cancer in the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils.

Prevention Strategies:

Every year in the United States, HPV causes 30,700 cancers in men and women. HPV vaccination can prevent most of the cancers (about 28,000) from occurring.

All adolescents should receive the HPV vaccine before their 15th birthday. For persons starting before their 15th birthday, two doses of the vaccine are needed. The second dose should be given six to twelve months after the first dose. Teens and young adults who start the series between the ages of 15 and 26 will need three doses of HPV vaccine. In addition, three doses are still recommended for people with certain immunocompromising conditions aged 9 through 26 years. Talk to your doctor to determine what is appropriate.

HPV vaccine is recommended for young women through age 26, and young men through age 21. HPV vaccine is also recommended for the following people, if they did not get vaccinated when they were younger:

  • young men who have sex with men, including young men who identify as gay or bisexual or who intend to have sex with men through age 26;
  • young adults who are transgender through age 26; and
  • young adults with certain immunocompromising conditions (including HIV) through age 26.


South Dakota HPV Vaccination Series Completion Rates Among Adolescents Ages 13-17, by County
Data from the South Dakota Immunization Information System from December 31, 2017 and April 30, 2018