HPV Prevention and Vaccine Safety
- Generally speaking almost anyone can have a quietly latent HPV and thus be able to transmit the infection to a susceptible person. The best protection is to get vaccinated against HPV. Previously the HPV vaccine Gardasil 9 was indicated for girls, boys, men and women between the ages of 9 and 26. FDA has approved the vaccine for women and men from ages 27-45.
- Over 135 million doses have been given in the use and 270 million world wide and they are very safe. Most reactions are minor local like pain or itchiness at the side. Occasionally people report headache or nausea. Severe allergies are reported in under 3 percent
- If you have been vaccinated you do not need to be re-vaccinated.
- The vaccines are so effective the 9-valent vaccine shows almost 100% of people who get the vaccine become positive to antibodies that determine the vaccine took effect.
- If you have been vaccinated prior to exposure you are protected against transmitting all the vaccine types of HPV Virus to a new sexual partner.
- There is a way of testing for HPV of the cervix, vulva, or vagina but there is no way a man can get tested.
- Vaccination protects against HPV types you may be exposed to that you do not have. After you test positive for HPV it is still possible to clear your virus. You can begin to understand if you are possibly still infected, or if you have cleared your virus. If you haven’t been tested, about 8 or 9 out of 10 women can rest assured that they have cleared their virus. Women usually clear in about 2 years. Guys typically, we think, clear faster. Perhaps in as fast as 6 months. So keep using those condoms and spermicide for the first couple of years that you have a new partner. And then see if HPV testing is indicated for you. Now we will also recommend you get a vaccine.
- Knowing whether you are still susceptible to HPV is not really possible. Knowing whether you are susceptible to an infection, immune to an infection, or transmitting an infection is so critical; but trying to get all those questions answered, is not always possible, but really requires a personal consultation with your gyno if you are a female. If you are a male, it’s even harder to know if you are able to transmit an HPV infection. So still get pap smears as recommended
Vaccinations, in those youth who are not infected is virtually 100% protective against that type of infection, and then in turn almost as effective at preventing HPV related cancers. Literally it was up to your parents to insure that you are not able to transmit infection. If you have gotten a vaccine against the major types of HPV (16,18,6,11) from the original vaccine or the Gardasil 9 (Types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58) before you contracted the infection you cannot pass these alone. if you had never contracted any of those viruses research tells us to tell our patients that for over ten years the data is holding that you are both protected against the disease and against the precancer and cancer types HPV causes. So no booster vaccination is necessary. Married, monogamous couples are at least risk, but vaccination will protect you against HPV from any future partners.