Is It Recommended For Men To Receive The HPV Vaccine?

What is the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)?

HPV, or Human Papillomavirus, is the most prevalent viral infection among sexually active adults. It spreads through various sexual activities, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex, as well as close skin-to-skin contact during intercourse. Almost all individuals who are not vaccinated, regardless of gender, will experience an HPV infection at some point in their adult lives. HPV is responsible for over 99% of cervical cancer cases in females, contributing to making cervical cancer the tenth most common cancer among Singaporean women.

What are the effects of HPV on men?

While the majority of HPV infections in men show no symptoms, in some cases, the virus persists without being cleared by the body, leading to the development of genital warts. These warts manifest as small, flesh-coloured, cauliflower-like growths on the skin. Additionally, HPV can contribute to the onset of penile, anal, and oral cancers in some men, emerging months or years after the initial infection. Importantly, 85-91% of anal cancer cases are attributed to HPV, and over 90% of genital warts stem from HPV. Although all men can be affected by HPV, individuals with poor immune systems due to other illnesses or treatments face a disproportionately higher risk.

What are the benefits of men getting the HPV vaccination?

Since there is no existing widely available screening for HPV infections in men, vaccination is the most crucial preventive measure. Given the virus's high contagiousness, vaccination is the most effective strategy for avoiding HPV transmission. Administering the Gardasil 9 HPV vaccine at an early age significantly reduces the risk of contracting the virus during sexual activity.

The Gardasil 9 HPV vaccine is recommended for both men and women aged 9 to 45 years old. While older men may still benefit from vaccination, it is more likely that they have already been exposed to the virus, making the vaccine less effective.

What is the process for HPV vaccination?

The Gardasil 9 HPV vaccine is administered in three doses at 0, 2, and 6 months. The second dose is given two months after the first, and the third dose is administered six months after the initial dose. 

Individuals may experience common side effects, such as pain and swelling at the injection site, a mild headache (observed in 13% of patients), and fever (seen in 6.1% of patients). 

Visit Assure Family Clinic

All in all, contrary to popular belief, the Gardasil 9 HPV vaccine is recommended not only for females from 9 to 45 years of age but also for males of the same age range.

Get the full course (3 doses) of the Gardasil 9 HPV vaccine at $750 nett.

Book an appointment with Dr Charis Au at Assure Family Clinic.

References

1. Health hub. Preventing HPV infection: HPV Vaccination https://www.healthhub.sg/a-z/diseases-and-conditions/faqs-on-hpv-and-hpv-immunisation

2. Mayo Clinic. HPV vaccine: Who needs it, how it works https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hpv-infection/in-depth/hpv-vaccine/art-20047292

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