What is (Human Papilloma Virus) HPV?
There are more than 150 strains of HPV (which stands for Human Papilloma Virus).
In fact, a HPV infection is much more common than you’d think.
Its just that a lot of times, there are no symptoms of being infected and it only sometimes causes health problems.
Admittedly, the health problems were often thought to be more significant in the female partner where it can lead to cervical cancers but recent studies will show that men are now getting HPV related oral cancers faster than women are getting HPV related cervical cancer.
An HPV related infection with the virus has also been linked to cancers of the vulva, anus, penis, and vagina.
HPV and Genital Warts
By far the most common indication of an HPV infection is Genital Warts.
This can be confined to the genital region alone or also include the ano-genital region (aka the part between your bum and genitals).
People get HPV most often through skin-to-skin contact with an infected part of the body. Sexual transmission is also highly likely.
Gardasil 9 for HPV Vaccination
This is why we often advocate the HPV vaccine.
The HPV has a significant impact on adulthood and it is manageable, to begin with. So why not?
Research has shown that the later a person is vaccinated, the less protective effects there are for them.
Every individual should be given three doses of the HPV vaccine within a period of 12 months.
It’s a fairly simple vaccine to administer via an injection with pretty much no downtime endured for the client.
The vaccine is highly effective in preventing the targeted HPV types (we use the nine-valent HPV vaccine) and its protective effects are long lasting with studies showing no weakening of protection of time.
FAQs for Gardasil 9 and HPV
1.) Can HPV be cured?
No. There is currently no cure for HPV once a person has been infected. This is why vaccination is so important and we advocate it for everyone before they are sexually active.
2.) Does HPV cause genital warts?
There are high risk and low-risk strains of HPV.
The low-risk strains (6 & 11) are usually responsible for causing warts following an HPV infection.
The high-risk strains usually go on to cause cancer formation.
3.) How do I know if I have HPV?
There really aren’t many signs that one has an HPV infection but if you do have genital warts, that’s a near sure fire indication that there is HPV in your body.
Once a person is sexually active, chances of picking up an HPV infection is relatively high based on the prevalence of people carrying the infection.
This is why we advocate vaccination for people before they are sexually active.
For a woman who is already sexually active, we can do a PAP smear to ascertain if the virus is in her body and the stage of infection if there is a significant infection.
4.) What is the best age to get vaccinated for HPV?
Based on recent studies and guidelines by the American Center for Disease Control (CDC), it is recommended for both boys and girls to be vaccinated between the ages of 9 and 11.
5.) What if I already have taken my Cervarix injection once? Can I take Gardasil 9 now?
Yes, you may very well take Gardasil 9 now as it offers better protective effects. We may just offer two injections instead of three of Gardasil 9 in these instances.
6.) If I have already done my PAP smear tests and I do not have HPV, do I still need to get the vaccine?
Yes, it is certainly advisable for you to get the vaccine. It’s great that with you being sexually active you have not picked up the virus yet but you put yourself at risk with the lifestyle so its best to protect yourself before you potentially pick up the infection.
7.) Would I still need to do regular PAP smears after I have taken the vaccine?
Yes, the Gardasil 9 vaccine protects you against nine strains of HPV but not all of them. There is still a chance you may develop an HPV infection leading to cervical cancer despite getting vaccinated. It is definitely recommended to get your PAP Smear
What 13 Facts on Genital Warts:
- Genital warts are caused by an HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) infection
- HPV infections can be picked up via sexual contact
- It can lead to precancerous or cancerous changes in both men and women
- An HPV infection is recognised as the most common STI (Sexually Transmitted Illness) in the US
- A vaccination is available to prevent an HPV infection that causes genital warts
- Everyone between the ages of 9 and 11 should be vaccinated against HPV
- Warts can be single or multiple and can appear on any part of the body that is exposed to sexual contact.
- Some warts may be larger than others.
- There can be irritation of the skin at the site of the warts
- Warts may have a cauliflower-like appearance or may be smooth in appearance
- Genital warts are contagious but it is possible to become infected without sexual transmission
- Using a condom decreases the chances of picking up an HPV infection but does not completely protect you from getting genital warts
- Genital warts can be treated in many ways including topical acid applications, cryotherapy and laser or surgical removal.
If you are interested in getting a Gardasil 9 Vaccination in our clinic, please email or call us for an appointment or walk-in to any of our clinics.