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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can HPV be prevented?

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  • Women's Health Queensland Wide provides free health information for Queensland women. View Profile

    A HPV vaccine called GARDASIL®, which is available in Australia, can prevent infection with four HPV types. Two types cause 7 out of 10 cervical cancers. The other two types cause 9 out of 10 cases of genital warts.
    If you have had sexual contact then you may have been infected with some of these HPV types. If you have already been infected with any of these four HPV types, your protection against cervical cancer and/or genital warts after vaccination may be reduced.
    The HPV vaccine cannot protect females against cervical cancer and genital warts caused by other HPV types that are not in the vaccine.
    Regular Pap smears are still essential because the HPV vaccine does not prevent all cervical cancers.
    Completely avoiding contact of the areas of your body that can become infected with HPV (like the mouth, anus, and genitals) with those of another person may be the only way to truly prevent these areas from becoming infected with HPV. This means not having vaginal, oral, or anal sex, but it also means not allowing those areas to come in contact with someone else’s skin
    Condoms can help prevent HPV, but HPV may be on skin that’s not covered by the condom. And condoms must be used every time, from start to finish. The virus can spread during direct skin-to-skin contact before the condom is put on, and male condoms do not cover the entire genital area, especially in women.
    It’s usually not possible to know who has HPV, and HPV is so common that even these measures do not guarantee that a person will not get it. Still, these measures may help reduce the number of times a person is exposed to HPV

    Brenda
    Women’s Health Educator
    Health Information Line, Women’s Health Queensland Wide

    Women living in Queensland can also call our Health Information Line - a free information and referral service for Queensland women - on 3839 9988 or 1800 017 676 (toll free outside Brisbane).

    Please note that all health information provided by Women’s Health Queensland Wide is subject to this disclaimer

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