Four facts about HPV – Gmünder Tagespost



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Protection is not just a woman thing

Aalen. KKH Commercial Health Insurance Company highlights the importance of vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV). In the case of KKH, the vaccination rate has steadily increased since 2010, only recently declining slightly again – from 2016 to 2017 by about twelve percent. But protection is important because certain human papillomaviruses are the leading cause of cervical cancer: 2,580 women insured by KKH were affected by 2017.

In order to curb the spread of dangerous viruses, the Vaccination Standing Committee (STIKO) decided in June 2018 to vaccinate boys. Already since 2007 this is recommended for girls. "Human papillomas are not just female issues. Almost every sexually active person gets infected with her in the course of her life, both women and men," says pharmacist KKH Sven Seißelberg. Many of these pathogens are harmless, but especially types 16 and 18 of HPV are considered highly dangerous because they are primarily responsible for cervical cancer. But even in men, pathogens can trigger malignant tumors in the penis and anus – as well as in the mouth, throat and larynx – as KKH says.

How to deal with HPV?

Human papillomaviruses are transmitted through the smallest lesions of the skin and the mucous membrane, ie mainly during the sexual act. Condoms can reduce the risk of infection, but do not protect 100% against it, because certain types of HPV occur, except in the mucous membranes of the skin in the genital and anal region. Therefore, it can come even by intimate physical contact to a transference. Sharing the experts.

Is the body immune to the virus after HPV infection?

No. You can always get infected again with HPV. There is always the risk that an infection does not completely heal and lead to cancer. "Because HPV infection usually does not cause symptoms, most people do not know they have been infected," Seißelberg explains.

How effective is HPV vaccination?

"HPV vaccines protect almost 100% of the infection by certain types of HPV and can prevent cancer, for example, a quadruple vaccine can protect men and women against genital warts, but there is no guarantee of that," says KKH.

When Should You Get Vaccinated Against HPV?

The Vaccination Standing Committee (STIKO) recommends vaccination for girls and boys aged 9 to 14 years, ideally before being sexually active. After all, protection is no longer possible if those affected have already been infected with HPV and have one of the types of agents against which they will be vaccinated. A vaccine can then only protect against other types of HPV containing vaccine. "The earlier the vaccination is done, the better," Seißelberg says.

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