[Question #7677] HPV Vaccine

1 months ago
Would be ok for me to have the HPV vaccine if I have already had genital warts. I have done some research and see The vaccine is of the protein and not The actual virus nor dna so that would not cause infection and that is the main question here is if the vaccine will cause a worse infection by getting it. I have had other opinions and has said to be ok and that it was safe and effective. I guess I am looking at the worst case scenario. I do want to get the vaccine, I’m just want to make sure it will not make anything worse but if it is ok and have been told yes than I will go ahead with it, I understand the history part just talking about if it is ok to get it now with not making worse just immunity. Thanks for your help. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
1 months ago
Welcome back to the forum.

The vaccine prevents infection with the 9 HPV types that cause 90% of important health problems due to HPV, i.e. warts and certain cancers. Most people with an HPV infection remain susceptible to several of those types and will benefit from immunization despite the HPV infection they already have, such as genital warts or women with abnormal Pap smears. That said, not everybody is at continuing risk for new infections. But for sure you should consider vaccination if you are under age 45 and sexually active outside a committed monogamous relationship. 

The things you mention -- the vaccine make-up or making a current HPV infection worse -- is irrelevant. HPV vaccines do not do that. The opposite may be true:  it was first thought that the HPV vaccine has no effect on existing infection, but recent research suggests it may help prevent reactivation or progression toward warts or cancer.

I hope these comments are helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD
---
---
1 months ago
Ok. Just curious, how does it not cause reinfection? Is it because it doesn’t contain the actual virus. Thanks, I appreciate the previous answer. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
1 months ago
It seems you have a misunderstanding. "Actual virus" isn't necessary for a vaccine to be effective in preventing infection, either initially or for reinfection. Most vaccines in common use (hepatitis A and B, most childhood infections, shingles vaccine) are not comprised of whole virus, but, as for HPV, particular proteins or other components or, in the unique cases of the first two COVID-19 viruses, viral mRNA that stimulates the body's own production of the desired proteins. None of this has anything to do with the virus itself causing reinfection. There are no vaccines today that cause infection or that make the recipient more susceptible to infection.

Does that explain it?

---
1 months ago
Yes. That is what I was thinking for the most part, I guess you want to make sure that it will not make anything worse in a since.  Good to know about recent research will benefit more than anything else. I guess in a since you don’t want something to trigger a infection but in your explanation that is impossible and they are safe and effective which is the point in them. Thanks for your help and explanation. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
1 months ago
No vaccine exists that can make the infection it prevents worse than it otherwise would be. That would be a pretty backward vaccine! So nothing at all to worry about in regard to HPV vaccination. If you're under age 26 and dating, i.e. not monogamous with a single committed partner, you should do it.

That concludes this thread. Tanks for your kind words. I'm glad to have been of help.
---