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How is HPV infection prevented?

Page last updated 21 June 2018

An effective way to prevent contracting HPV is through vaccination. National and international recommendations are to vaccinate young adolescents against HPV before they become sexually active. Studies show that the body’s immune response to the vaccine is best between 9-14 years of age. Vaccination is still recommended for people who have had sexual contact, even though they may be already infected with one of the types of HPV.

If used correctly, condoms can help reduce the risk of genital HPV, and also provide protection against other sexually transmitted diseases. However, because HPV is transmitted through genital skin contact (not just sexual intercourse), condoms don’t provide 100% protection against HPV.

Vaccination and cervical cancer screening (with regular Pap smears) are complementary measures – both are recommended. For further information regarding how to prevent HPV, speak with your healthcare professional.

Sources & Citations

  1. Queensland State Government Health. Human papillomavirus (HPV). Available at:  (accessed 15 April 2018)
  2. New South Wales Government Health. Questions and answers about changes to human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination. Available at:

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0131a - Date of preparation May 2018