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10 Things about HPV (Video)

HPV stands for human papillomavirus. HPV is usually harmless and goes away by itself, but some types can lead to cancer or genital warts.

 Here are 10 things about HPV.

1. HPV is incredibly common.

and It is estimated that 8 out of 10 people will get HPV at some point in their lifetime


2. Next… How is HPV spread?

HPV is one of the most common STI and is spread through genital or skin-to-skin contact. The virus can be spread even when no symptoms are evident.


3. The third point is that HPV doesn’t necessarily stay with you forever.

Patients commonly assume that HPV is a lifelong infection that will stay with them always. Most HPV infections clear up on their own and do not cause any problems. However, overtime persistent infection by certain HPV types can cause cancer and other diseases such as warts.


4. There are many strains of the virus.

HPV is not just one virus, but consists of over hundreds straina . Each virus is labeled with a number to distinguish it from the others, and different viruses can target different areas of the body, causing differentdiseases in humans.

HPV is most commonly associated with a risk for certain cancers, including cervical cancer, or oral cancers which involves, the base of the tongue or tonsils. 


5. Next in Cervical cancer

HPV causes more than 99% of cervical cancer cases and Approximately 400 new cervical cancer cases are diagnosed annually in Singapore.  

Cervical cancer ranks* as the 8th leading cause of female cancer in Singapore.


6. In Detection of HPV

A pap smear test is a cervical cancer screening tool that is commonly use to detect cervical cancer or pre-cancerous changes in the cervix.

A more sensitive test like the HPV DNA test can be used to detect certain high risk strains of HPV that can lead to cervical cancer


7. HPV in Men

Men can get HPV and pass it to their partners. HPV has been shown to increase the risk of anal cancer, penile cancer , oral and throat cancers in men.


8. There Is Also a Vaccine that Can Protect You

The HPV vaccine has been shown to be highly effective in protecting people against cervical cancer and warts..

Individuals already infected with HPV should still get vaccinated because the vaccine may protect against additional strains of hpv. However, for maximum benefit, vaccination should occur before an individual becomes exposed to the virus.

Thus it is recommended for preteens to get the vaccine at an early age.

Recently the US Food and Drug Administration expanded its approval of the HPV vaccine to include men and women up to 45 years old As an effort to protect more people from several types of cancer caused by HPV.


9. After HPV Vaccination…

Women should continue to get regular Pap screenings because the vaccine though reduces risk of cervical cancer, does not protect against all HPV types.


10. To Sum Up HPV

The best thing you can do is stay proactive and look after your well-being.

“HPV is something both women and men should be aware and well-informed about, protecting yourself and your loved ones,”

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Is HPV Vaccine Necessary for Males?

HPV is a virus that can infect both males and females of all ages. HPV infections may lead to diseases such as skin warts, genital warts, vaginal/vulvar cancers, cervical cancer, penile cancer and anal cancer. There are hundreds of subtypes of HPVs, with about 40 known to affect the genital area. Of these, there are high-risk types known to cause cancer and low-risk types which may cause genital warts. Vaccines against some of these high and low-risk types are available today.

 

Most HPV infections clear naturally, but there is no way to predict who can clear the virus on their own, or who will carry the virus and potentially spread it. The virus itself cannot be treated. However, some of the diseases it causes can be managed. For example, if a person infected with HPV presents with a wart, we can use medications to treat it or use various techniques to remove it, but the virus itself is not eradicated from the body. That is why vaccination is so important for everyone so that the virus will not take root in the body.

 

HPV vaccinations have been available since 2006, and the vaccination has seen high uptake in many countries as they have been introduced into their national immunization schedule. HPV vaccination, along with pap smears and HPV testing, has been the cornerstone in reducing the burden of cervical cancer in women. In fact, we are already starting to see the benefits of this vaccine in reduced precancerous lesions of the cervix among countries with high uptake of this vaccine.

Read: Counterfeit HPV Vaccines (Gardasil 9) In Hong Kong

The vaccination in its early introduction largely left out males. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently approved the use of Gardasil 9 for both males and females ages 9 to 45. The HPV vaccination is also now recommended by the U.S Center for Disease Control for men through age 21, for men who have sex with men, transgendered people, or those who have a compromised immune system (including HIV) who are ages 26 and younger. In the UK, from September this year, boys aged 12 and 13 would be offered the shots as part of a government health programme.

Read: HPV Vaccination for Men-Who-Have-Sex-With-Men

HPV has been linked to more than 99 per cent of cervical cancers, as well as 90 per cent of anal cancers, about 70 per cent of vaginal and vulvar cancers and more than 60 per cent of penile cancers. The protection against female cancers has already been proven. It also appears that vaccinated boys will receive some protection against anal and penile cancers as well.

 READ: Perianal Warts (Peri-Anal Warts) & Anal Warts Removal

 

There are 3 different types of HPV vaccines available in Singapore. Cervarix, which protects against 2 high-risk HPV types – 16 and 18. Gardasil 4, which protects against the high risk 16 and 18 and 2 more low-risk types 6 and 11. And Gardasil 9, the only vaccine used in the United States now which protects against 9 subtypes (6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58). The vaccination schedule is 3 doses; one on your first visit, one 2 months later and the last one 6 months after the first dose (0,2,6) Other dosing schedules may be suitable depending on your age.

So should you as a male get vaccinated? Speak to your doctor about it to discuss the pros and cons. As for myself as a male – I’m already vaccinated.

HPV Vaccination is available in all our clinics in Singapore & Malaysia


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HPV Infection & HPV Vaccination for Men who have sex with Men

About 40 types of HPV are passed on through sexual contact. The virus can be spread through skin-to-skin contact that doesn’t involve penetrative sex. Condoms will not necessarily fully protect people from coming into contact with it. Also Read: Anal Pap smear for men

What you need to know about Gardasil 9 HPV Vaccine and HPV in Men who have sex with Men

 

What is Human papillomavirus (HPV)?

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is not one virus, but a family of about 200 different strains that cause common warts, genital warts and some cancers.
Sexually active adults mostly acquire at least one variety of HPV and it’s a near-universal infection in people with HIV. Even people with a one-lifetime partner can get HPV if their partner has it.
About 40 types of HPV are passed on through sexual contact. The virus can be spread through skin-to-skin contact that doesn’t involve penetrative sex. Condoms will not necessarily fully protect people from coming into contact with it.
For most people, HPV will not cause any harm. Only some varieties of HPV can cause cancer and even if you do come in contact with these strains, the chances of developing cancer are very small.
However, some people do not clear the virus from their bodies, and this can cause:

  • Genital warts on the penis and anus. It is also possible to have these types of warts on the lips and in the mouth.
  • Cancer of the anus, penis and oropharynx (back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils).

Although some other strains of HPV are associated with cancers, two main strains of HPV – HPV 16 and HPV 18 – cause 70% of cervical cancers in women and over 80% of anal cancers worldwide.
It is estimated that HPV is responsible for about 5% of cancers worldwide. However, anal cancer is one of the most common cancers for people living with HIV.

Learn more about Rapid HPV Testing (Next Day Result)

HPV & Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM)

Every year anal cancer is diagnosed in about two people per 100,000 in the general population.
Men who have sex with men are about 20 times more likely than heterosexual men to develop anal cancer, and men-who-have-sex-with-men who are living with HIV are even more likely (up to 100 times more than the general community).

What is the new Gardasil 9 (HPV Vaccine)?

GARDASIL 9 is a vaccine (injection/shot) given to individuals 9 through 26 years of age to help protect against diseases caused by some types of Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
In boys and men 9 through 26 years of age, GARDASIL 9 helps protect against:

  • Anal cancer
  • Precancerous anal lesions
  • Genital warts – Penile warts, Anal Warts and other areas

These diseases have many causes. Most of the time, these diseases are caused by nine types of HPV: HPV Types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58. GARDASIL 9 protects against diseases caused by these nine types of HPV.

What is the difference between Gardasil and new Gardasil 9?

Gardasil only covers 4 strains of HPV: 6, 11, 16, 18.
Gardasil 9 covers that and 5 more strains, 31,33,45,52.

HPV-4 types
(6, 11,16,18)
HPV-9 types
(6,11,16,18,31,33,45,52,58)
Cervical cancer cases 70% 90%
High-grade cervical lesions 50% 75-85%
Low-grade cervical lesions 30-35% 50-60%
HPV-related vulvar cancer cases 70-75% 85-90%
HPV-related vaginal cancer cases 65% 80-85%
HPV-related anal cancers 85-90% 90-95%
Genital wart cases 90% 90%

As you can see, Gardasil 9 has a broader HPV coverage compared to Gardasil.

Frequent Asked Questions (FAQs)

1.) Can I get Gardasil 9 if I am above 26 years old?

Gardasil 9 in Singapore is indicated for boys and men from ages 9 to 26. That does NOT mean that men above the age of 26 years cannot get the vaccine.
If you are above 26 years old, the best thing to do is to have a discussion with our doctor about the pros and cons of the vaccine then make a decision on whether or not you will benefit from it.

 

2.) Can I get Gardasil 9 even if I have had genital warts?

There are 200 different strains of HPV. Even if you have been infected with 1 strain, the vaccine can help protect you against other strains.
Also, there is data to show that people who have received treatment for HPV related cancers and had the HPV vaccine were less likely to get recurrences of their cancers.
So even if you have had or currently have genital warts, you should still have a frank conversation with our doctor about how Gardasil 9 can benefit you.

3.) Can I get Gardasil 9 even though I have already had the older version of Gardasil?

Yes, you certainly can. Scientific data has proven that it is absolutely safe to receive the full dose of Gardasil 9 even though you have already completed the vaccination using the older version of Gardasil.
If you have any concern about HPV infection treatment or you are interested in getting HPV vaccination, please contact us for more information.

Gardasil 9 vaccination is avilable in all our clinics in Malaysia and Singapore.
You can call any of our clinics or email us at hello@dtapclinic.com.sg for an appointment.

Take Care!


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  7. How Do I Treat Oral Herpes (Cold Sores)
  8. Syphilis Symptoms – Painless Sore & Ulcers
  9. HIV Symptoms – What You Need to Know
  10. 10 Common HIV related Opportunistic Infections

Cervical Cancer, Pap Smear & HPV Vaccination – What You Need To Know

What is Pap Smear?

Pap smear is a cervical cancer screening recommended every 3 years for all sexually active females starting from age 25 years old.

This is a quick, simple and painless procedure that can be done in the clinic and it only takes a few minutes.  A brush will be used to collect some cells from the neck of the womb (cervix) and it will be sent to the lab to identify any precancerous and cancerous cells.

Cervical Cancer

In Singapore, cervical cancer is the 3rd leading cause of cancer deaths in women age 15-44 years old.
Cervical cancer risk is increased with :

  1. Multiple sexual partners
  2. Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
  3. Smoking
  4. Unprotected sex

What is Human papillomavirus (HPV)?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the commonest sexually transmitted infection. It can affect both men and women.
There are 2 types of HPV – the low risk and high-risk types.

  1. Low-risk HPV can cause genital warts in both female and males. These are flesh coloured growths on the genitals, and they are infectious.
  2. High-risk HPV plays a significant role in the increased risk of cancer, such as cancer of the cervix, vulva, and vagina in women as well as anal cancer in men who have sex with men (MSM)..

The American College Obstetrician and Gynaecologist (ACOG) strongly recommends co-testing using Pap smear and HPV DNA testing (high-risk HPV types) especially for women ages 30-65 years old.
Patients are advised to repeat these tests in 5 years if pap smear and HPV results are negative.
This allows patients to extend their screening interval.

However, for women who test positive for high-risk HPV types, this means their risk is increased and hence, may need to have Pap smear screening at a closer interval, i.e once a year and depending on the results of the pap smear, some may need a referral to a gynaecologist for early intervention.

Remember, women can have no symptoms with an abnormal pap smear and HPV infection. Hence, early detection and screening are crucial as early intervention can be life-saving. Symptoms such as bleeding and pain during sex (postcoital bleeding), bleeding in between periods, heavy vaginal bleeding, and bleeding after menopause are usually late signs of cervical cancer.

The good news is cervical cancer can be prevented through vaccination.

GARDASIL 9 is a vaccine that helps protect against Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Most people infected with HPV show no signs or symptoms, this means they can transmit the HPV virus to others without knowing it in any kind of sexual activity or skin to skin contact.

Gardasil 9 provides protection against 9 major strains of HPV, which includes HPV types 6,11,16,18,31,33,45, 52 and 58 which are responsible up to 90% of genital warts and cervical cancers or precancer changes.

The vaccine, however, does not treat the infection.

It can be given to both females and males from the age of 9 up to 45 years old.
From the age of 9-14 years, 2 doses 6 months apart is recommended while those age 15 onwards, 3 doses will be recommended according to the schedule of 0, 2 and 6 months.
The side effects post vaccination is usually mild and temporary including pain, swelling, bruising over injections site and very rarely may cause fever and nausea.
HPV vaccine reduces your risk significantly but it does not mean your risk becomes zero.

After the completion of HPV vaccination, all women who are sexually active and above the age of 25 should still undergo routine screening via pap smear.

If you are due for your routine PAP smear or if you have questions about cervical cancer screening & HPV vaccination and wish to find out more, please call or visit any of our clinics or drop us an email at hello@dtapclinic.com.sg
We have Female doctors at our Robertson Walk, & Kovan Location. Call our clinics DTAP @ Kovan +6569627191 & DTAP @ Robertson +6562387810

Take Care! 

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