Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common type of virus in the UK and around the world. There are several types of the virus, and some are referred to as ‘high risk’ because they lead to the development of cancerous cells in the cervix, anus, genitals, head and neck. Other types of HPV can cause warts or verrucas.
Most cases of cervical cancer, about 99.7% are as a result of high-risk HPV infection, but only a few percentages of anal, head and neck cancer are caused by the virus. These cancers are mostly as a result of other high-risk factors like smoking and drinking alcohol.
Infections from the virus rarely show any symptoms, and most people live with the virus unnoticed. Getting an HPV vaccine will help reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
The HPV vaccine is routinely offered in England to boys and girls between the ages of 12 – 13 when they are in school year 8. The second dose of a vaccine is offered 6 – 12 months after the first dose is administered in school year 8 or 9.
Both doses of HPV vaccine must be taken to stay protected. If you missed it in school at the age of 8 or 9, then you have the chance to get vaccinated till 25 years of age.
Medical Express Clinic provides private services for HPV vaccine in the UK. We also offer Gardasil 9 the latest vaccine covering 9 important HPV strains. Our team of private GPs are always ready to answer all your queries, anytime you visit our clinic.
There are over 100 types of the virus, and about 40 of them affect the genitals. Most people get infected by HPV at some point in their lives, but their body’s immune system naturally fights it off without any treatment.
Some people who get infected with any of the high-risk strains of HPV are unable to naturally get rid of it. With time, if left untreated can cause abnormal tissue growth and changes which lead to any of the following types of cancer
Other high-risk strains of the virus can lead to infections like
Currently, private HPV vaccine in line with the National HPV vaccination programme makes use of a vaccine known as Gardasil.
The Gardasil vaccine helps to protect against 4 types of the virus- types 6, 11, 16, and 18. Among these 4 types of the virus, types 16 and 18 are mostly responsible for cervical cancer in the UK, with about 70% of cervical cancer cases. These types of the virus cause a few of anal and genital cancers while some causes head and neck cancer.
Types 6 and 11 are responsible for almost 90% of genital warts. This means that using Gardasil helps protect girls from having cancer of the cervix and genital warts.
Private HPV vaccine does not in any way guard against other sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia, and it doesn’t also prevent pregnancy, so it is important to always engage in safe sexual practices.
We conduct screening for important strains of HPV like high risks strains that are associated with cancer. This can be done through highly accurate DNA testing on a swab. We wil discuss in details about how to get positive results with vaccination, if possible.
It is important to take part in cervical screening programmes as this enables early detection and quick treatment of precancerous changes to your cervix.
Side effects to HPV vaccines are not always common, but a few persons experience the following, but they clear off in a few days.
The sure way to prevent HPV is abstinence from sexual activities. To reduce the chances of getting infected, it is always advised to practice safe sex and ensure that you have just one sex partner who is not infected.
In England, the HPV vaccine was extended to boys aged between 12 – 13 years in July of 2018. This was based on the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
This made boys and girls between 12 – 13 years to be eligible for the vaccine in the 2019-20 school year. The extension of the HPV vaccination programme is supposed to help prevent more cases of cancers in boys and girls related to the virus such as anal, genital, head, and neck cancers.
Vaccination in older boys is not necessary because they are already benefitting indirectly from the built-up protection of girls who benefitted from the 10-year vaccination programme. The primary concern is to ensure that both boys and girls who are eligible to get the vaccine from the 2019-20 school year.
HPV infections can be transmitted by skin-to-skin contact. They are usually found on the genitals, mouth, hands, and fingers. This means that even touching an infected area can spread the virus.
The HPV vaccination is more effective if it is administered before young people become sexually active and have increased chances of coming in contact with the virus. This makes getting the vaccine at the recommended age significant to help protect during the teenage age and beyond.
Most people who are not vaccinated get infected with some type of HPV at some point in their life, but some are unaffected because the body clears it off while for those who are unfortunate, the virus remains dormant in their body for many years and cause damages later on.
Men who have sex with men have not been privileged to benefit in the same way as men who have sex with women from the girls’ vaccination programme, so they have not been protected against HPV.
From April 2018, MSM who are up to 45 years are eligible for free HPV vaccination on health insurance schemes in sexual health and HIV clinics in London.
Trans women (people who were male at birth) are also advised in the same way as MSM to get an HPV vaccine
Trans men (people who were female at birth) who have sex with men and are below the age of 45 are also advised to get private HPV vaccine in London, but if they have previously gotten the vaccine during the girls’ vaccine programme, there would be no need to get vaccinated again.
This vaccine is widely recommended for the young boys and girls of around 11-12 years including teenagers. If required, children can start taking the vaccination at a very young age of 9 years. Usually, it is administered in a session of shots: Kids aged between 9 and 14 get vaccinated with two shots in an interval of 6-12 months period.
Recent studies have shown the HPV vaccine can protect for as long as ten years, but some experts say that it lasts longer.
The vaccine does not protect against all types of HPV responsible for cervical cancer, so it is necessary for women above 25 years to get regular cervical screening to spot any changes in the cervical cells.
For more information on HPV vaccine, you can visit our private clinic at Harley Street, London or call us on 02074991991 to book for an appointment to get vaccinated.
The only way to avoid HPV is to stop involving in sexual activities. Adults who are sexually active may lessen the risk by restricting their number of sex partners and enjoying safe sex with condoms. People who have only one partner may get HPV too if their partner was exposed to a previous partner having HPV. Hence, HPV vaccine is considered to be an important medical advancement.
Several years of testing is needed to ensure safety of HPV vaccines before they may be used in the UK.
According to studies, common side effects with HPV vaccines had been reactions at the site of the injection such as – swelling, redness, pain and headache. However, these side effects were usually mild or moderate.
Getting vaccinated against HPV is important for both men in women. Ideally, the private HPV vaccine is administered to young adults who are not sexually active before they are exposed to the virus. People who are sexually active but are not infected with any virus can still get an HPV vaccine in London. However, the vaccine should not be given to the following set of people
Each vaccine dose may cost around £150 that varies depending on several factors. To know the full cost you should contact your clinic or health insurance provider. Getting a private HPV vaccine for individuals below 21 is usually covered in some insurance plans.
You may contact Medical Express Clinic, where GP offer first-class medical services to help make your life better. Our services include vaccination against different ailments. Contact us to get an HPV vaccine today or book an appointment. You can reach us on 02074991991 or [email protected].