WHAT IS THE HPV VIRUS?
HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) is a virus that causes a very frequent infection that most women catch at least once in their life.
The infection resolves spontaneously in most cases. In a very few cases, however, it can persists for a long time and develop into a high-degree carcinoma.
There exist approximately 150 types of papillomavirus. They are associated with a high oncogenic risk of developing a carcinoma of cervix, anus, vagina, vulva, penis and oropharynx and/or a low oncogenic risk (genital and anal condylomas).
The papillomavirus infection is mainly transmitted through sexual intercourses and causes no symptoms.
WHAT IS HPV VACCINE FOR?
The papillomavirus vaccine, presently protecting against nine types of virus (6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, 58), is the only way of primary prevention against HPV infection.
The papillomavirus vaccine:
- Is the only manner to prevent the infection from HPV;
- Is safe;
- Offers the broadest possible coverage against HPV infections to both men and women;
- Its maximum effectiveness is achieved in people who have not yet come into contact with the virus; however, it protects in a lesser amount also those who have previously caught the infection without evidence of this being in progress;
- Its effectiveness decreases as age increases (maximum until 25/26 years);
- Prevents more than 70% of cervical cancers, not 100%. This is why it is important to take preventive screening tests even after being vaccinated;
- Also protects against other forms of cancer for which there is no screening available (oropharynx, anus, vulva and vagina) or provides limited protection;
- Is recommended and free of charge for girls of 11 years of age.
DOES HPV VACCINE REPLACE THE PAP TEST?
No. Vaccination does not replace the Pap test and regular screening tests for cervical carcinoma (HPV test).
VACCINE RECOMMENDED RECIPIENTS
People of both sexes, preferably from 11 years of age, but not necessarily young.
HOW MANY DOSES OF VACCINE ARE REQUIRED?
People from 9 to 14 years of age:
- Two-dose vaccination schedule: 0, 6 months. The second dose of vaccine must be administered 5 to 13 months after the first dose. If the second dose is given before 5 months have elapsed from the first dose, a third dose must always be administered.
People of 15 years of age and older:
- Three-dose vaccination schedule: 0, 2, 6 months. The second dose must be administered at least one month after the first dose and the third dose must be administered at least 3 months after the second dose. All three doses must be administered within one year.
VACCINE ADMINISTRATION ROUTE
The vaccine is administered by intramuscular injection, usually in the upper arm.
HPV VACCINE SIDE EFFECTS
The HPV vaccine is safe and usually well tolerated. You must inform the doctor if you are allergic to latex and/or yeast, which may be a contra-indication to use the vaccines available.
After vaccination, you may experience the commonest usually slight and temporary side effects, namely:
- Minor pain, reddening or swelling where you had the vaccine injection
- Abdominal pain, nausea, vomit or diarrhoea
- Joint or muscle pain
More severe side effects, such as severe allergic (anaphylactic) reactions rarely occur.
WHERE IN AUXOLOGICO
You can receive the HPV vaccine at Auxologico Procaccini and Auxologico Capitanio, Meda.
Our Servizio Vaccini offers the HPV nonavalent vaccine GARDASIL-9.
At the polyclinic, you can also take gynaecological examinations, lab tests, ultrasounds as well as all the major screening procedures for women’s health prevention (PAP-TEST, HPV-TEST).