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Facts about HPV (Human Papillomavirus) and the New HPV Vaccine

How do I get the HPV Shot?

There are three shots over a six month span. Call our office at 412-572-6127 to tell us you would like to get the series of shots.

Generally speaking, you can get an injection:

Mon: 10:00am - 11:30am & 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Tue: 8:30am - 10:30am & 1:00pm -5:00pm
Wed: 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Thu: 9:00am - 10:00am & 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Tue: 8:30am - 10:00am & 1:00pm -2:30pm

YOU DO NOT SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT, BUT YOU MUST MAKE SURE YOU COME WHEN
THERE IS SOMEONE IN THE OFFICE TRAINED TO GIVE INJECTIONS.

If we already know your insurance plan pays for the vaccinations, we bill your insurance. If we are not sure your insurance pays for the injections, you must pay $150.00 for each shot before you receive it.

We do accept VISA & Mastercard and will soon accept American Express and Discover.

What is human papillomavirus?

  • Papillomaviruses are a large group of DNA-based viruses that infect the skin of humans.
  • More than 100 different types of HPV have been identified and there are about 30  HPVs that are typically transmitted through sexual contact.
  • As much as 75% of the adult female population will become infected with a sexually transmitted disease in their lifetime.
  • Some sexually transmitted HPV types can cause genital warts; most types exhibit no symptoms.
  • Persistent infection caused by a group of about twelve “high-risk” sexually transmitted HPVs, including types 16 and 18 can lead to cancer of the cervix.

     **Sections of this are extracted from Wikipedia.

How is the Human Papillomavirus transmitted?

The HPV types that cause cervical cancer are transmitted by skin-to-skin contact.  Condoms are really not an effective prevention measure because not enough coverage is provided to the contact skin areas.

What is the HPV Vaccine?

-Gardisil Vaccine is a new vaccine that protects against the four most common human papillomaviruses and prevents 70% of cervical cancers and  90% of genital warts.

-It is administered in a series of three (3) shots: one immediate injection followed by a second injection two (2) months after the first injection followed by a third injection six (6) months after the first.

Who should get the HPV Vaccine?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that females ages 9 – 26 receive a vaccine for Human Papillamovirus (HPV).  

Teens:  The HPV vaccine is most effective on females before the onset of sexual activity.  A teen’s initial gynecological visit is a great time to learn more about this vaccine. 

Women:  The HPV vaccine is recommended for women up to the age of 26, regardless of sexual history

Women who can be vaccinated:

  • women 9 to 26 years of age
  • women who have had abnormal pap smears, genital warts, precancerous lesions
  • women with suppressed immune systems
  • women who are breastfeeding (not recommended for women who are pregnant)

The HPV vaccine is not a treatment for current HPV infection or genital warts.  Additionally, the HPV vaccine is not a substitute for regular pap smears.  Pap smears can detect abnormal cervical cells caused by other HPV strains not covered by the vaccine. 

(2006, September). ACOG releases HPV vaccine recommendations. ACOG Today, 50 (8), 1,13.
 

How much does the vaccine cost?

Each shot is $150.00 and the total cost for all three (3) shots is $450.  Each injection must be paid for in advance.  We will bill your insurance company after you pay for and receive the injection.  Most insurance companies are not paying for the injections, but we have been told that they will eventually cover the HPV vaccine.

Where can I get the HPV vaccine?

You do not need to schedule an office visit.  We have a supply of HPV vaccine in our office.  You must call in advance to make sure a nurse is available to give the injection.

Why is the vaccine only recommended for females aged 9-26?

-It is possible that the FDA will indicate vaccination for the older female population in the near future, especially post-menopausal women, but presently the ongoing drug trials have not been completed for other age groups and the results have not been submitted to the FDA for approval.

-There are now recommendations being studied that suggest vaccination for young men.

Are teenage girls at risk?

Yes.  In a 27-month study of 60 adolescent females aged 14 to 17, 82% were found to have had one or more HPVs during the time period.  HPV infection can be acquired without vaginal penetration and condoms are not protective against the virus. 
The risky behavior patterns of teenagers, coupled with a consideration of the number of new sexual partners in the past six months, number of skin-to-skin sexual partners and a past history of genital herpes are clear indications for the vaccine.

Brown, DR, Shew, ML, & Qadadri, B (2005). A longitudinal study of genital human papillomavirus in a cohort of closely followed adolescent women.. J Infect Dis. 191, 182-192.

 


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