Q. Will I still be infected by HPV even if I do not have any sexual contact?
Yes. HPV is a common virus that can be found on skin and it can be spread through skin contact or even through environmental contact.
Q. Is HPV a genetic disease?
No, HPV is not a genetic disease yet it is an infection that can be passed from parents onto child. Vaccination can provide protection to parents so that the chance of passing HPV onto the child can be effectively minimized.
Q. How long will HPV infections develop into cervical cancer /genital warts once detected in human body?
It usually takes 7-10 years of persistent HPV infections for abnormal cells to develop into cervical cancer. However, it may take only 3-6 months for genital warts to develop.
Preventive Care to Reduce Risks
In 2006, about 12,000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer and 3,976 women died of the disease. Widespread vaccination has the potential to reduce cervical cancer deaths around the world by as much as two-thirds.
There are 2 HPV vaccines available. They protect against different HPV types and choosing which one will depends on individual’s risk exposure, past history, current infection state etc. We recommend people should consult specialist before receiving the vaccine.
Q. When will protection take effect after I get vaccinated? Will it start after my first injection?
Antibodies will have significant increase from 2 weeks after your 2nd injection but full and prolonged protection will only take place after the 3rd injection. It generally takes 6 months to complete the course of injection. However, if someone had already carry HPV or if his/her partner already has HPV, a shorter schedule over 4 months is recommended to obtain protection in a shorter period of time. Usually the second shot is given after 1 month and final shot in 4 months.
Q. If I am already infected by HPV, can I have the vaccination now?
Yes. Many people have misconcept about HPV vaccine, even among health professionals. HPV can be a recurring infection. People may catch one type and clear it by their own immune system but they can catch the same type or a different type in the future. The vaccination protects against future infections and therefore it is still recommended for those who are infected as it will help protecting against other genotypes infection as well as reduce the chance of developing into the end point diseases such as genital warts, cervical and rectal cancer.
Q. How long will the protection last after having vaccination and how effective is it?
Research studies show that protection will last for at least 10 years and reduce risk of cervical cancer by 70% and genital warts by 90%.
Q. Will any booster or another course of vaccination required when one’s immunity against HPV subsides?
Both research studies and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) have not yet indicated that a booster is required.