HPV, human papillomavirus, is the most common sexually transmitted virus. There are currently 79 million Americans infected with HPV and about 14 million people become newly affected each year. While the only visible symptom of HPV is often genital warts, the virus can lead to multiple forms of cancer.

The good news is that these cancers are preventable by making sure you or your child get the vaccine. The ideal age range for receiving the vaccine is 11 or 12 years old but it has been shown to be effective when given up to age 26.

Whether you’re a parent, teen or young adult, we’ve compiled helpful information on why and when you or your child should receive the vaccine. For adults, we’ve provided some ways to prevent HPV as well as identify potential signs for cancers caused by an HPV infection.