Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States.

In fact, most people who have had sex have HPV. There are over 200 strains, and while most of the time they are relatively harmless, they can cause a range of health issues including cervical cancer, genital warts, penile cancer, anal cancers, and throat cancers.

The Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center runs the nation’s largest and longest HPV study. We’re investigating the prevalence of the 40 different strains of sexually transmitted HPV, and the real-world effectiveness of Gardasil, an HPV vaccine that protects against nine different strains of the virus. Over 1,400 young people have been a part of the study, and it has resulted in 9 peer-reviewed journal articles so far (which you can find here).

We believe that the data we’ve collected truly belongs to our young study participants who made this research possible. We put together the infographic below so they can see what we’ve learned thanks to their participation.

Here are eight things we’ve learned from our 10-year HPV study.

Infographic by Juliet Ashall with help from Sarah Pickering.

The HPV vaccine is recommended through age 26. If you live in the NYC area and are 10-22 years old, you can call the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center at (212) 423-3000 to make an appointment to receive the HPV vaccine for free. The vaccine is a two- or three-dose series (depending on the patient’s age) given over six months.

The Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center is located in New York City. It provides comprehensive, confidential, integrated, judgment-free health care at no charge to over 10,000 young people every year. This column is not intended to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual, only general information for education purposes only.