[Question #7808] How soon (by which dose) after getting HPV and HEP A+B vaccines am I protected?

 
27 days ago
Hello,

I'm a 20 years old gay male, I've never had sex. 

I want to start being sexually active this year. Before I do, I want to get vaccinated for HPV (Gardasil 9) and Hep A+ B (Twinrix). 

As far as I know, both of these vaccines require three shots in the span of six months to complete.

My questions are:

1. After which dose (and how many days after that shot) do each of these vaccines give me enough protection to engage in sexual activities?
2. Assuming I get protected before completing the full schedule, how is that protetion level compared to the one after completing it, and is the difference woth waiting with sex ?

Thank you.



Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
27 days ago
Welcome to our Forum and thanks for your questions. Thanks as well for your thoughtful approach to your sexual health.  I totally endorse and support you intent/decision to pursue vaccination prior to becoming sexually active.  You are correct that for persons your age, three doses of vaccination are recommended for full protection.  In each case there is partial protection which is detectable 2-4 weeks after receipt of the 2nd vaccine dose.  The 3rd shot "boosts" the level of protective antibodies resulting in stronger protective effect as well as prolonging it.

While you did not ask, I will also use your opportunity to remind you that correct and consistent use remains a highly effective means of reducing risk for all STIs, including both those which do and do not have vaccines available.  

I hope this information is helpful.  If any of my responses are unclear, please feel free to use your up to two follow-up for clarification.  EWH
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27 days ago
Thanks for the answer.

Is the increase of protection after the 3rd dose relative to the 2nd dose very substantial or is it minimal?

I'm just trying to decide if I should wait with sex untill I get all three shots or if protection from the second dose alone is good enough and waiting for the 3rd shot isn't worth it.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
27 days ago
Of course the amount of protection is variable. However the increase in antibodies is substantial, particularly over the long haul.

The decision of when to have sex is, of course, a personal one and situation specific. If you have a partner who you strongly wish to have sex with, 2 to 3 weeks after your second vaccination, if you also use condoms, your risk for infection will be low. EWH
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26 days ago
Thank you. 

That answers my question.