Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is very contagious through sexual contact. Around 70% sexually active women and men contract the infection at least once in their lives. Four subtypes (6, 11, 16 and 18) HPV are responsible for 70% of cervical cancers and 90% of genital warts. HPV can lead to other cancers in vulva, vagina, anus and penis.
A new vaccine against these subtypes (6, 11, 16 and 18) of genital HPV has been developed. Its commercial name is Gardasil ®.
It is recommended for young girls from age 9 up to 26 years.
Females should get it before they are sexually active and therefore in young age, when the vaccine is most effective, before they get infected with any type of HPV.
Females who are sexually active may also benefit from the vaccine, although it may be less effective since they may already acquired one or more types of HPV.
In Austria the vaccine is licensed for boys age 9 to 15. It will prevent transmission to partners in the future and reduce the incidence of genital warts. Scientists believe it may also prevent anal and penis cancer. Studies are done in this direction.
Studies show the efficacy of the vaccine, applied to women before they are sexually active, is almost 100% in preventing diseases causes by these four subtypes. It was less effective when applied in sexually active women.
The vaccine does not protect against all types of HPV. 30 % of cervical cancers are not prevented by the vaccine. For this reason the necessity to continue with the cervical screen or papanicolau. It does not prevent against STDs or HIV. Use of condoms is fundamental.
The vaccine is safe. Large studies showed no serious side effects. Local reactions (redness, soreness of injection side) and fever are possible.
Application: three doses: first vaccination, second is given 2 months later, third 6 months after the first one (0, 2, 6 months).
At this moment the duration of the immunity is at least 5 years. Scientist believed it may bring a life long protection, but studies will have to confirm it.
Vaccination with Gardasil is totally advised. The vaccine is expensive, because it is a new vaccine. Information over price on request by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org