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About the Vaccine
This prophylactic vaccine offers a promising new approach to the prevention of HPV and associated conditions.
The HPV vaccine protects against four types pf HPV, including two that cause 70 percent of cervical cancers and two that cause 90 percent of genital warts. However, this vaccine will not replace other prevention strategies (safer sex behaviors) since it will not work for all genital HPV types.
The vaccine has been tested in over 11,000 females (nine-26 years of age) in many countries around the world. And has been FDA approved for use in the United States .
The HPV vaccine contains inactivated and noninfectious viral proteins that protect against four major types of HPV (6, 11, 16, 18) that are responsible for 90 percent of genital warts and 70 percent of cervical cancers. The vaccine is given as a three-dose series with the second dose given two months after dose one and the third dose given six months after dose one. It is important that this timeline is kept in order for the vaccine to be optimally effective.
The vaccine causes no serious side effects. The most common side effect is soreness at the injection site which is common but mild. Mild or moderate fever, nausea and dizziness has also been reported. As with all vaccines, the HPV vaccine will continue to undergo monitoring for unusual or severe side effects or problems.
Females don't need a Pap test or screening prior to starting the vaccine, but should continue such testing per the usual schedule after vaccination.
The Student Health & Counseling Center has the vaccine available for $125.00 for each injection. Payment is expected in advance of each injection. It is important to plan ahead. The vaccine is given in a three-dose series with the second dose given two months after dose one and the third dose given six months after dose one. It is important that this timeline is kept in order for the vaccine to be optimally effective.
Who Should Get the HPV Vaccine?
The vaccine is safe and effective for females nine-26 years old , regardless of their sexual history . It is most effective if given before the onset of sexual activity. However, all females who are sexually active also may benefit from the vaccine. Females who have not been infected with any vaccine type would receive the full benefit of the vaccination. Females who already have been infected with one or more HPV type would still get protection from the vaccine types they have not acquired. Few young women are infected with all four HPV types in the vaccine.
Since this vaccine is newly approved, many college-aged women have not had the opportunity to receive the vaccine until now. This “Catch-Up Vaccination” is strongly recommended to help protect against the types of HPV that cause cervical cancer and genital warts.
Who Should Not Get the HPV Vaccine?
Women who have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to yeast, to any other component of the HPV vaccine, or to a previous dose of HPV vaccine should not start or continue the vaccine series. Pregnant women should not get the vaccine since the effects of the vaccine during pregnancy are still being studied. Any exposure to vaccine in pregnancy should be reported to the vaccine pregnancy registry at 1-800-986-8999. People with moderate or severe acute illnesses should also defer their vaccine until after the illness improves.
Should Men Get the HPV Vaccine?
While it is possible that vaccination of males with the quadrivalent vaccine may offer direct health benefits to males and indirect health benefits to females, there is currently no efficacy data available to support use of HPV vaccine in males. Efficacy studies in males are ongoing. In the meantime, males should encourage their female partners to consider vaccination and remain attentive to licensure of the vaccine for males, at which time they should consider getting vaccinated to lower their risk of transmitting HPV to their partners.
A Word about Cervical Cancer Screening.
Widespread cervical cancer screening using the Pap test and treatment of precancerous cervical abnormalities has resulted in a marked reduction in cervical cancer incidence and mortality in the U.S. Thus cervical cancer screening recommendations have not changed for females who receive the HPV vaccine. Healthcare providers should continue to encourage women to receive regular cervical cancer screening even if they have been vaccinated since the vaccine will not prevent all cases of genital warts.
Be Smarter. Get Vaccinated.
Since a significant proportion of sexually active men and women can become infected with HPV at some time in their lives HPV is something they should be aware of for the future.
Offering the facts about HPV and the HPV vaccine can help protect your female students against the types of HPV that most commonly cause cervical cancer and genital warts. Encourage them to “Be Smarter and Get Vaccinated
The above information does not cover everything there is to know about Gardasil. Talk to your healthcare professional or visit www.gardasil.com for more information.
Reference: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that more than one in four females between the ages of 14 and 59 have HPV – and nearly 45 percent of women between the ages of 20 and 24 are infected. Seventy-four percent of new HPV infections occur among 15-24 year-olds. While most HPV infections don't cause any symptoms and go away on their own, between three and six percent of the infections can lead to genital warts or to precancerous abnormal cell changes that can lead to cervical cancer.
What is HPV?
HPV (Human papillomavirus) is a common virus that affects both females and males. Most types of HPV are harmless, do not cause any symptoms, and go away on their own. There are about 30 types of HPV that are known as genital HPV since they affect the genital area. Some types are high risk and can cause cervical cancer or abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix that sometimes turn into cancer. Others are low risk and can cause genital warts and changes in the cervix that are benign (abnormal but noncancerous).
Who gets genital HPV?
Anyone who has any kind of sexual activity involving genital contact could get genital HPV. Because many people who have HPV may not show any signs or symptoms, they can transmit the virus without even knowing it.
HPV is more common than you might think. In 2007, approximately 20 million Americans had genital HPV. More than 6 million new cases of genital HPV are diagnosed in the United States each year.
How do I know I have HPV?
Because HPV may not show any signs or symptoms, you probably won't know you have it. Most women are diagnosed with HPV as a result of abnormal Pap tests. A Pap test (also known as a Pap smear) is part of a gynecological exam and helps detect abnormal cells of the lining of the cervix before they have the chance to become precancers or cervical cancer.
Many cervical precancers (changes that could lead to cancer) are related to HPV and can be treated successfully if detected early. That's why early detection is so important.
What happens if I get HPV?
In most people, the body's defenses are enough to clear HPV. If not cleared by the body, some HPV types cause genital warts. Other types cause abnormal changes in the cells lining the cervix that can lead to precancers and even turn into cervical cancer later in life.
What are genital warts?
Genital warts are flesh-colored growths that are most often caused by certain types of HPV. Genital warts most often appear on the external genitals or near the anus of females and males. Less commonly, genital warts can appear inside the vagina and on the cervix.
Who gets genital warts?
Anyone who has any kind of sexual activity involving genital contact could get genital HPV, and certain types of HPV can develop into genital warts. Because many people who have HPV may not show any signs or symptoms, they can transmit the virus without even knowing it. After sexual contact with an infected person, genital warts may appear within weeks, months, years, or not at all.
Genital warts are very common. It is estimated that in 2003, there were over 260,000 new cases of genital warts in the United States alone.
How do I know if I have genital warts?
A healthcare professional can usually recognize genital warts just by seeing them. Genital warts often do not cause symptoms. In some cases; however, they may cause burning, itching, or pain.
How are genital warts treated?
Genital warts sometimes disappear on their own without treatment. However, there is no way to tell if they will disappear or grow larger.
A healthcare professional may choose to apply a special cream or solution to the warts. Alternately, some genital warts can be removed by freezing, burning, or using a laser treatment. If these treatments don't work, they may be removed by surgery.
There is a chance that genital warts can reappear after treatment, since the HPV that caused them may still be present.
Reference: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov
What are abnormal cervical cells?
Abnormal cervical cells (also called cervical dysplasia) are cells in the lining of the cervix that have changed in appearance. The more severe the cervical abnormality, the more likely it is that cervical cancer would develop in the future. Most often this can take a number of years, although in rare cases it can happen within a year.
What causes abnormal cervical cells?
Abnormal cervical cells may have a number of different causes, such as an infection or inflammation, but are commonly caused by certain types of HPV (human papillomavirus).
How do I know if I have abnormal cervical cells?
The usual way to detect abnormal cervical cells is through a Pap test. You may have additional testing, such as repeat Pap testing, HPV DNA testing, colposcopy, and possible biopsy.
An abnormal biopsy result may be reported as CIN (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia).
The term CIN, along with a number (1 to 3), describes how much of the thickness of the lining of the cervix contains abnormal cells. A diagnosis of CIN 3 means there are severely abnormal cervical cells through the entire thickness of the lining of the cervix.
How are abnormal cervical cells treated?
Most abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix will eventually go away on their own. If the abnormalities are mild, the healthcare professional may choose to closely monitor them.
If abnormalities are more severe, removing these cells can almost always prevent cervical cancer from developing in the future.
Methods commonly used to treat abnormal cervical cells include freezing, removing them using an electrical instrument, and conventional surgery. The treatment may have to be repeated if the abnormal cells reappear.