Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is not solely transmitted through sexual contact. HPV can be found anywhere in our everyday life, especially locations with high pedestrian flow like elevator handrails, door handles and elevator buttons. If you touch your genital area, mouth, nose or wound after encountering the virus, there will be a chance of HPV infection.
There is a perception that women is the rather high-risk group given the virus increases the risk of having cervical cancer. However, HPV can be a threat to both men and women. Moreover, studies show that men even have a higher risk of HPV infection than women. High-risk HPV can cause men to develop cancer of anus, penis, mouth, throat etc. While low-risk HPV can also cause genital warts. A man could often clear most of the virus on his own, but persistent HPV infection can lead to cancers or other HPV-related diseases, proving the high severity of HPV among men.
HPV is as life-threatening to women, with the risk of cervical, vaginal, vulvar and anal cancer caused by high-risk HPV. Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers among female in Hong Kong. When a woman is persistently infected with high-risk HPV, the virus can cause abnormal growth of cells, and possibly develop into cervical cancer in years if the virus cannot be cleared by the immune system. It is also possible for HPV-infected male to transmit the virus to his female partner, increasing her risk to develop cervical cancer (HPV can also be transmitted between the same-sex).
Using condoms and having single sexual partner can help to avoid HPV infection, but not completely block us out from HPV. Both men and women face the risk of infection and develop related diseases. It is especially risky for men as their symptoms of HPV infection are relatively indistinct. Precautionary measure through vaccination is therefore crucial. “Human Papillomavirus Vaccine” (HPV vaccine) has evolved from quadrivalent (Gardasil 4) to 9-valent (Gardasil 9/ HPV 9-in-1 Vaccine). HPV 9-in-1 Vaccine covers a more comprehensive profile of HPV types, including the common high-risk types – HPV 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, 58; and the low-risk types – HPV 6, 11.
Male and Female aged 9 or up are eligible for HPV 9-in-1 Vaccine. People with higher risk of HPV infection are recommended to have vaccination as soon as possible, including those with multiple sexual partners or have intercourse with people who have multiple sexual partners, people with immunodeficiency, those with premature sex and smokers.
MHS is now offering HPV 9-in-1 Vaccines (3 shots) at HK$4,900 ONLY (Original Price: HK$6,500)!
Benefits of HPV 9-in-1 Vaccine
- Prevent the four most prevalent high-risk and
carcinogenic HPV types (HPV 16, 18, 52, 58)
in Hong Kong *
- Prevent high-risk HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, 58 (causing a total of 90% of cervical cancer), lower the risk of passing above high-risk HPV types to partner and thus the incidence of cervical (pre)cancer
- Reduce 90-95% of the risk for anal cancer
- Reduce 90% of the risk for genital warts
|Suitable for||Men and women aged 9 or up|
People with higher risk of HPV infection are recommended to receive the vaccination as soon as possible:
– Have multiple sex partners or have intercourse with people who have multiple sex partners
– People who smoke or have premature sex
|Manufacturer||Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD)|
|Durability||There will be sufficient immunity to fight against HPV when all 3 doses are given in accordance to the vaccination timetable. No booster is required so far.|
|Vaccination method||Given as injection into a muscle in upper arm|
|Vaccination timetable||The first dose: your preferred day|
The second dose: two months after the first injection
The third dose: six months after the first injection
Who should not get vaccinated?
- People who are allergic to enzymes or any of the components of the vaccine
Side effects of the vaccine
- Common side effects include pain, swelling, bleeding, erythema and itching caused by the injection. Some people may have fever and headache. Those are not prolonged symptoms and will go away automatically.
- The World Health Organization identifies HPV 6, 11, 16 and 18 as the most common HPV types. In Hong Kong, the Centre for Health Protection identifies HPV 11, 16 and 18 as the most common HPV types.
- The vaccine is only preventive. It cannot be used for treatment of active genital warts, erase pre-existent HPV and protect against diseases that are not caused by HPV.
- People who were infected or are currently infected with HPV should also get vaccinated in order to lower the risk of getting infected with other HPV types.
- Postponing the injection is recommended if you currently have fever or taking antibiotics.
- According to the manufacturer’s guidelines, HPV 9-in-1 vaccine can be administered at least 12 months after completing the administration of HPV 4-in-1 vaccine.
- Consult a doctor in advance if you are under medication or suffering from immunodeficiency.
- The indicated age for HPV vaccine in Hong Kong is male and female from the age of 9 years.
- A consent form needs to be signed before the vaccination.
If you intend to get injected with the HPV vaccine, you will be asked to reveal your sexual history during the consultation. In some cases, STD test(s) may need to be performed in order to accurately determine the best treatment method. Please refer to here for more information about STD check-up and treatments.