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Your Good Health: HPV vaccine still worth getting even after infection

by News Desk
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If I have a history of human papillomavirus, should I get the HPV vaccine?

Dear Dr. Roach: My stepdaughter and her two sisters (32+) have HPV (the type that causes cancer). Two of her three sisters underwent LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Resection). If she is free of her HPV after surgery, can she get an injection of her HPV?She was not available in her youth and then she contracted HPV.

DR

The best time to get the vaccine is before sexual activity, but it can be given at any time (approved between ages 9 and 45). It covers several strains of the virus that can cause cancer, so it’s worth getting even if you have a history of HPV. There is no strong evidence that the vaccine will help clear her existing HPV infection or related illness, but it will not harm her existing HPV lesions.

Men should be vaccinated against HPV not only to protect their female partners from cervical cancer, but also from HPV-related penile, head and neck cancers.

Dr. Roach regrets not being able to respond to individual letters, but incorporates them into his columns whenever possible. Readers can email questions to [email protected]

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