The HPV Vaccine, known as Gardasil®, protects girls and young women from the human papillomavirus – a common sexually transmitted disease that can lead to genital warts, benign tumors and several types of cancer. The vaccine is most effective when provided to patients prior to their first sexual contact, and is recommended for females aged 9-26 who have not previously received it. Gardasil is administered in three separate doses that are provided over a six-month period. While the vaccine can’t fully protect everyone, it has been shown to be extremely effective against types of HPV that cause cervical cancer, vaginal cancer and vulvar cancer in women within the designated age range. It has also been shown to help protect against many anal cancers and genital warts in both males and females aged 9-26, which is why the CDC recommends it be provided to all children at the age of 11-12.