This preventative vaccination has been in use for several years now and is very effective. It prevents infection with 4 of the most common types of Human Papilloma Virus (6, 11, 16 and 18). The HPV virus is one of the most common STI’s and affects a large proportion of sexually active people. It is estimated that about two thirds of sexually active adults are infected with a strain of HPV. Most cases of genital warts are attributed to type 6 and 11, whilst type 16 and 18 are implicated in most cervical , anal and oropharyngeal cancers.
Research has shown that most sexually active people will get infected with a strain HPV, but our immune systems is generally good at clearing the infection, if it is given a chance. A good immune system is vital for this process. If you have problems with your immune system, such as say HIV positive people, or smokers, the body is less successful at clearing the virus. The other problem is reinfection. If you and your partner both have the virus, reinfection can occur every time you have sex and therefore it is very difficult for your body to clear the virus. The risk for cancer increases the longer you are infected with one of the more dangerous screens.
We are able to vaccinate both women and men as long as you have no contra indications to the vaccination. The course consists of a series of three injections over 6 months. We do not have to do HPV DNA testing, before vaccination, although it is useful to do this if you have had any abnormal smears in the past or bleeding during sex.
We are now also aware that HPV can be a risk factor for mouth and throat cancers, something that we used to see only in non-smokers and in those with heavy alcohol consumption. The risk here is HPV infection through oral sex.
Hepatitis B Vaccination
Hepatitis B is a serious and often chronic infection that can cause serious damage to the liver in people who cannot clear the virus, leading to scarring of the liver, cirrhosis and in some cases liver cancer and or failure.
It is easily passed on through sexual intercourse and is passed on through contact with semen, vaginal fluids, blood and even saliva. It is much more infectious that HIV and can stay alive for longer outside the body and on surfaces. There are very few symptoms after infection and most people are diagnosed incidentally through routine STI screening. The treatments are getting better but unfortunatley have to be taken for a long time and there is no effective cure as yet.
We recommend the vaccination for
- Healthcare workers/Police/armed forces
- Men who have sex with men
- sex workers
- people involved in contacts sports
- anybody who in the course of their job might come into contact with bodily fluids.
Hepatitis A vaccination
Hepatitis A is an acute illness that can be quite debilitating. It causes inflammation of the liver with symptoms such as extreme fatigue and jaundice (yellow skin).
It is mainly spread through poor food hygiene and sanitation but can also be passed on through sexual contact.
We recommend vaccination for
- Men who have sex with men or anyone whose sexual practices involve oral- anal contact (rimming)
- Travellers to developing countries
- Close contacts of someone who has hepatitis A
- People with chronic liver disease
- People who might be at risk through work exposure
- Injecting drug users
I have over 14 years experience providing sexual health screening and I offer a completely confidential, professional, non judgemental service from start to end. If you are not sure if you have been at risk, then I offer a normal consultation to discuss the possible risks and whether screening would be appropriate. We discuss and agree all costs beforehand so you know exactly where you stand and I will always provide you with clear and accurate advice based on current British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH )guidelines.