Why HPV is related to males as well?
HPV, namely Human Papillomavirus, isa DNA virus affecting living entities regardless of the genders. Currently there is approximately 200 types being described, and infections of different HPV genotypes could result in various diseases. Some researches indicated that the probabilities for men to be infected are comparatively higher than women, and the likelihood for males to contract HPV reached 65%. While the HPV-infected patients could transmit the virus to another individual, the chances for virus transmission from males to females are five times higher than females transmitting to males, and it is a fact that HPV can cause premalignant changes and malignant cancers of cervix, vagina, vulva and anus.
Is there any method to prevent HPV infection?
Some HPV are sexually transmitted and could be spread through sexual contact, and there are still risks of being infected even with the use of condoms, which will eventually infect the genital area of men and women. HPV vaccine is a prophylactic vaccine to prevent cervical cancer as well as other HPV-related cancers or diseases. In Hong Kong, HPV-6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, 58 are accounted for about 90% of cases of cervical cancer and genital warts. All the above 9 genotypes are included in the 9-valent HPV vaccine.
Most Common FAQ related to HPV:
- Is there any way to diagnose if I am HPV infected?
Females can perform cervical screening; it is effective to detect any abnormal situations in the cervix. There are no regular checks for males to diagnose if he is being infected by HPV.
- How old to be eligible for HPV vaccination?
It is recommended to receive vaccination before commencement of sexual activity, and 9 in 1 HPV vaccine (total 3 doses) is approved for use in any individual aged 15 or above, regardless of the genders.
- Will HPV Vaccination encourage sexual activity?
Some studies demonstrated that there is no direct relationship in between taking vaccine and the rate of increasing sexual activities. More importantly, children should be provided with appropriate sex education by parents or teachers.
- Is It still essential to take vaccination if I only have one partner in my whole life?
Even you are only partnered to one person, the odds to be infected is still almost 60%. HPV could stay dormant for long, there is no sign when he/she is being infected, it is recommended to undergo prevention by receiving vaccine.
- How long will the efficacy of HPV vaccine be?
There are reports exemplifying that there is sustainable protection against HPV for any individuals, and is generally assumed to be life-long effective. There are still ongoing investigations upon efficacy of the vaccines.
- What could be the symptoms for contracting HPV?
Most HPV infections would have no obvious indications, and mostly be resolved spontaneously. However, if HPV infection persists, it could lead to precancerous lesions.
- How long will the latency period between persistent HPV infection and low-grade lesions be?
It depends, it could be over 10 years for the development of invasive cancer. HPV can lay dormant for many years and symptoms can never occur.
- Is it still necessary to take HPV vaccine even when I was infected?
Being infected by HPV does not mean that there is no necessity to take vaccination. It is still possible that you are only catching some genotypes of HPV. You can still avoid further infection by receiving the vaccination.
- Will HPV be infecting the new-born babies?
If pregnant women are infected with HPV, then there are also certain probabilities that the babies will also be affected. Even infected, there is also chances that babies could resolve the HPV with their own immune system. In general, the chances of being infected is not very high, yet there is no guarantee for this.