One of the things you can do to protect yourself against HPV is to get the HPV vaccine before you become sexually active.
However, you may still benefit from getting the vaccine even if you’re already sexually active. This is because it may protect you from types of HPV you haven’t been exposed to yet. Remember that sexual activity includes any skin-to-skin contact in the genital area.
The vaccine can prevent 7 types of HPV that cause about 90% of all cases of cervical cancer.
Currently, HPV immunization is offered free of charge in Alberta to all girls and boys in Grade 6. Children who didn’t receive the vaccine in Grade 6 will be offered the vaccine in Grade 9 and will continue to be eligible to receive the vaccine free of charge until the end of Grade 12. The vaccine is also available to others for a fee which varies by location. Contact Health Link Alberta at 8-1-1 for more information about eligibility and cost.
Watch this short video to learn more about the HPV vaccine:
All About HPV, Canadian Cancer Society
To help you decide whether the HPV vaccine is right for you or your children
Talk to your healthcare provider
Visit Immunize Alberta for information about the HPV Vaccine
Or use Alberta Health Services’ HPV Vaccine Decision Tool https://www.healthiertogether.ca/living-healthy/get-immunized/prevent-hpv-infections/
Remember that even if you decide to get the HPV vaccine, you still need to have a Pap test regularly. The vaccine doesn’t protect against all the types of HPV that can cause cervical cancer, so it’s important to continue getting tested.