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What is HPV?
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the world’s commonest STD and causes warts and also cervical, vulval, anal and other types of pre-cancers and cancers.
- The HPV virus has many subtypes, the most common of which are types 6, 11, 16 and 18.
- HPV 6 and 11 causes’ external genital warts whilst 16 and 18 are invisible and may cause genital and anal cancers if untreated.
- External genital warts take a long time to clear, require intensive treatment and are often very distressing.
- Infection with the virus is typically transient so a person may clear an infection after a short period.
- Because we will often periodically clear infections it is possible to use this knowledge to vaccinate against the virus and also reinfection.
- Genital warts treatment using liquid nitrogen, laser, curetting, surgical excision and also imiquinod cream is available routinely.
- At Freedomhealth we are keen to vaccinate against HPV at the earliest opportunity.
- Our preferred routine at Freedomhealth is to use PCR testing to identify if a person already has the HPV virus.
- If there is no proven infection then we would be keen to immunise using the vaccine called Gardasil.
- Gardasil is given once, then after two months and finally after three months. A booster is likely to be needed from time to time.