[Question #5345] HPV Vaccine and Oral Sex

21 months ago
Hello there-

Just wanted to say I’ve been making some great strides about my anxiety when it comes to HPV and I really appreciate the suggestions to continue to pursue that route of therapy. Sorry to ask another question but it is of a different/new topic that my new girlfriend was actually curious/concerned about. I couldn’t find an answer on the site here that was similar to the situation. She has the HPV vaccine and got it when she was younger. She is aware of my HPV/Warts and is understanding. I had a new wart appear/removed about a month ago and am going for a follow up this week for another to be checked. I know the vaccine is effective against 90% of HPV viruses that cause genital warts, but would the vaccine also protect her against the getting the hpv wart virus that I have, orally? We’ve had unprotected oral sex a few times and I feel like I’ve just assumed that the vaccine is the same protection from it but wanted an answer to be able to tell her concretely. Thanks again for your time. 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
21 months ago
The data on the effect of the HPV vaccine on preventing oral infections is limited.  Logically it should have some effect.  In general oral infections are less common than genital infections, suggesting that they are either less likely to be acquired or they clear more quickly than at genital location.  Sorry there are not more data.  EWH ---
21 months ago
I appreciate your response, the wart had been completely healed for about a week before our first oral encounter so I assume the risk of transmission is there, but would be low anyways just based on lack of visible warts and on reading past responses on here. And the vaccine would be helpful based on your response as well. Thanks for your time, I have no further questions.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
21 months ago
Thanks for your response.  I agree and would say that the odds of HPN transmission are very low and the odds of infections, should it occur are smaller still.  Take care.   EWH---
21 months ago
Hey Dr. Hook, realized I had one more question here so I wanted to use it, it's a quick one before this closes up. My girlfriend read on the Gardasil FAQ section of their website that approximately 3 out of 4 people will get warts if they are exposed to them genitally. I assume this is for people who have not have the shot as they are protected up to 90% of wart causing HPV viruses? (she has the shot as discussed earlier) Thanks again for your time. 

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
21 months ago
The estimate of 3 out of 4 (75%) may be a little high and I suspect is based on the assumption that persons are exposed through multiple episodes of unprotected intercourse and that the warts are untreated.  This figure is for persons who have not been vaccinated.  Vaccination provides close to total protection against HPV 6 and 11 which are the two types that cause over 90% of visible warts.  Since she is vaccinated, she is protected.

As you mention, as this is my 3rd response to your questions, this thread will now be closed.  Take care. EWH
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