HPV Vaccine As HPV Treatment

The HPV vaccine was studied as a disease prevention strategy. The studies were designed specifically to look at individuals who had no exposure to HPV and their risk of acquiring HPV and getting HPV related disease. Future I and Future II Studies were the research studies and the prescribing information and what is known about the safety and disease prevention is at the Gardasil website. Once a patient gets HPVvaccine they are protected for 10 years against HPV disease that they do not already have. But in a Study just reported in the British Medical Journal
  • In the first reported look back analysis of individuals treated for any disease it has been shown that once treated with the vaccine you are less likely to get any related HPV disease. This was true for individuals up to age 45. The studies did still have women who progressed from mild to more severe cases of cervical disease, this is not perfect protection. This would mean that the vaccine may actually have usefulness as a therapeutic vaccine. Recommendations won't change fast. We have been telling female patients two important facts: Get the vaccine even if you have had a prior abnormal pap because even if you have been infected with the HPV virus you are not likely to be infected with all the types in the vaccine and secondly, have pap smears on schedule whether or not you have had the vaccine. If these results are right we can tell our patients three other facts to consider: once exposed to the virus the vaccine can act like a booster for you, and yes you may still be protected against new infections, even new infections not specifically covered in this vaccine (protection against related viruses), and lastly your pap smear schedule in the future may change for all vaccinated individuals. STD protection and screening are very important, and you should not skip your gyno appointments if you are not scheduled to get a pap this year. Pap testing may not be the only testing you will need this year.


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