how does the hpv vaccine work
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    5 minutes read
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    Jan 9, 2024
    HPV
    How Does the HPV Vaccine Work: A Comprehensive Guide
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    Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections worldwide. While HPV oftentimes harmless and even asymptomatic, it can lead to various health complications, including cervical, anal, and oropharyngeal cancers. However, thanks to advancements in medical science, a highly effective vaccine has been developed to combat this virus. A vaccine for cancer- how cool is that!

    Understanding HPV

    • What is HPV? Human Papillomavirus is a common STI that can effect everyone. It is spread through anal, oral and vaginal sex, but also can be spread through skin to skin contact with an infected individual. Most people don't know they have HPV and in most case, your body will take care of the virus itself, and won't cause any complications. In some cases, undeteced HPV can cause cancer.

    • Common types of HPV: There are many different types of HPV, actually about 150 strains. Certain ones cause warts, while other types can cause cancer of the vulva, anus and throat. There are 12 'high risk' strains, with two, strains 16 & 18 causing most types of cancer.

    • Symptoms and health risks associated with HPV: Most people don't know they have HPV because they either don't have symptoms or their body's immune system clears the infection. Some people will develop genital warts from the infection, others will find out they have it during a routine exam for vagina owners, called a pap smear. A pap smear is when your provider takes a small scraping of cells from a cervix and examines them to see if they are abnormal. In most cases, individuals with HPV found on a pap smear, won't have any detectable symptoms.

    TBD Recommends: TBD Health's HPV at-Home Testing Kit (vagina havers)

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    The Importance of Prevention

    • How does the HPV vaccine work? the HPV vaccine protects against high risk strains of HPV, including the ones that cuase cancer. Adminisred in a two or three 'series' vaccine, once it's completed the person's immune system is ready to fight those strains of HPV so a person is less likely to develop HPV.
    • Who can get the vaccine? The vaccine is recommened for everyone before they are sexually active to provide the best protection. Current recomendations are for those aged 9-11 years to start the series, but it can be given to adults up to age 26 years old. If you're curious if you qualify- ask your health care provider.
      -Other ways to prevent HPV: HPV transmission can be reduced by using condoms during all sexual activity, including anal and oral sex. Unfortunately HPV can be transmitted by skin to skin contact.

    Early Detection and Treatment

    • The role of testing in HPV prevention: Following testing recommendatios for vagina owners is key to early detection of HPV. Early detection can help catch HPV early and guide interventions to help prevent complications. Current recommendations for vagina owners are every 3 years. Currently there isn't a routine screening recommendation for anal or oral areas.

    Learn More: Tell Me About HPV

    ❤️ You found one of our Valentine's Day scavenger hunt prizes! Get 10% off the 5-Panel Kit, which tests for HIV, now through Feb. 14. Use code VDAY2 at checkout.

    The HPV vaccine has revolutionized the prevention of HPV-related diseases, offering a ray of hope for millions of people globally. By understanding how the vaccine works and the importance of prevention, we can empower ourselves with the knowledge needed to protect against HPV. Remember, early detection and treatment are crucial in mitigating the risks associated with this virus. If you haven't been tested yet, consider visiting TBD Healthcare Clinic, where dedicated healthcare professionals can provide guidance, support, and necessary screenings. Take charge of your health today and prioritize your well-being!

    Reviewed by Sarah, NP on Jan 10, 2024

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