There are certain key facts about HPV and the HPV vaccine that parents, pre-teens and teens need to understand.

■ Certain strains of HPV cause genital warts and cancers of the cervix, mouth, throat, anus and genitals.

■ Receiving three doses of HPV vaccine before your child is exposed to the virus can prevent many cases of these cancers and genital warts.

■ HPV is easily spread, especially among teens and pre-teens — even by intimate skin-to-skin contact.

■ Most people who become infected get it within two to three years of their first sexual activity.

■ Even someone who waits until marriage for sex and only has one partner can still get HPV.

■ HPV vaccine is recommended for boys and girls when they are 11 to 12 years old because younger people have a stronger immune response to the vaccine.

— Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

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