HPV Vaccine

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wswx
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HPV Vaccine

Unread postby wswx » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:47 pm

Hi, I'm a 20 year old virgin and I'm interested in taking the HPV vaccine - either Gardasil or Cervarix.

I understand that it is most effective if given before first sexual exposure. However, what actually leads to the complications?

I'm looking at having sexual intercourse prior and maybe during the various doses of vaccination, with my partner - who is also a virgin.

Being a virgin, I believe he might not be exposed to any type of HPV yet - would this be true? Therefore, would it still affect the effectiveness of the vaccination?

Otherwise, would using some form of protection (ie. Condoms) prevent the transmission of HPVs and therefore not affect the effectiveness of the vaccine?

Hope I'm not asking too much.. still very inexperienced in this area. Thank you.

al
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Re: HPV Vaccine

Unread postby al » Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:01 am

Hi there wswx, and welcome to Scarleteen!

All of these are great questions to be asking! I'm glad that you're thinking about how to take care of yourself and your partner before taking any steps that might incur any risk of contracting an STI.
I'm not entirely sure what you mean when you ask what leads to "complications".. complications that occur after having gotten the vaccine and being exposed to HPV? Complications as a result of getting the vaccine?

As for how the vaccination works, you can read all about it at The STI Files: Human Papillomavirus (HPV). The gist of it is that there are over 100 different strains (types) of HPV, but there are only a few of them that have a high risk of causing things like genital warts and cervical cancer. The vaccine protects against 2 types of HPV, 4 types of HPV, or 9 types of HPV depending on which brand of vaccine you go with. The vaccine is most effective when administered before someone has become sexually active, because then it's very very unlikely that they've been exposed to any strains, and will gain immunity from whichever strains they are vaccinated for.

To answer your question about your partner, if they haven't had any sexual contact with others, having sexual contact with them for the first time should not be a risk. However, HPV is trickier than the other STIs in that it's not only spread through contact with sexual fluids and/or intercourse, but also from skin-to-skin contact (a.k.a. even if someone who has HPV doesn't ejaculate, if your genitals touch they could possibly expose you to it). So hypothetically if you were with a partner who had never had intercourse, but had exposed their mouth/anus/genitals to someone else's mouth/anus/genitals, they could be at risk for contracting/transmitting HPV. Then, it would be important to use barriers like condoms and/or dental dams to protect against HPV as well as other STIs.

In terms of what to do while getting the vaccine series, if you and your partner haven't had any sexual contact before, and do not have sexual contact with anyone but each other, then you shouldn't be introducing any risk of HPV or other STIs when you have sex, and it shouldn't affect the effectiveness of your vaccination at all.

While we're on the topic, is the risk of pregnancy something that might be present in having sex for the first time? If so, have you thought at all about what you might do to address it?
Nothing happens in contradiction to nature, only in contradiction to what we know of it. -Special Agent Dana Katherine Scully

Heather
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Re: HPV Vaccine

Unread postby Heather » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:21 am

And don’t forget: your partner is eligible for these vaccinations too! :)
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

wswx
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:45 pm
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Location: Singapore

Re: HPV Vaccine

Unread postby wswx » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:18 pm

Thank you @al & @Heather for the kind clarification and advice.

As for the risk of pregnancy, we've spoken about it in depth and set out some form of plan as to how we would go about dealing with it should our situation eventually boil down to that.

Once again - thank you for the clear clarification and let me just take this opportunity to say that the Scarleteen board is such a genuine and great platform, providing assurance and education to the community - branching from a point of strong believe for the good.

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 6298
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
My primary language: english
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Vashon Island, WA

Re: HPV Vaccine

Unread postby Heather » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:30 am

What an amazing compliment! Thank you so much. So glad it’s of such value to you. <3
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead


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