Gardasil is approved by the FDA for use in girls and young women and boys and young men between the ages of 9 and 26. It is recommended in these populations to help prevent:
- Anal cancer
- Genital warts and vulvar, vaginal and cervical cancer and in women
- Genital warts in men
Protecting men through vaccination may also reduce the overall HPV infection rate by decreasing the risk for transmission between sexual partners.
Researchers also are studying the effects of the vaccine on women who are over age 26 and on women who do not know they are pregnant. At this time, the vaccine should not be used in women who know they are pregnant.
Other research is being conducted to determine the length of time that the vaccine provides protection from HPV infection. Studies have shown that the vaccine is effective for at least 5 years, but it is currently unknown whether booster shots are required for longer protection.