HPV Vaccination

Human Papilloma Virus

HPV is a DNA virus which infects the skin and mucosa of men and animals.


Direct skin or mucosal contact with HPV lesions is required to transfer the virus.
However, simple transfer of the virus from person to person is usually not capable of causing inflammation. There must be friction and micro-injuries occur to penetrate the virus into the epithelium. For this reason, sexual intercourse (vaginal or anal) is the easiest way to transmit for HPV.
Other types of sexual intercourse (genital friction by hand or between them, oral-genital contact) can lead to inflammation. This may happen if there are scratches in the epithelium and the immune system does not work well. We consider them rarer ways to transmit the virus, though.


The gynecologist diagnoses HPV with the Papanicolaou Test and virus typing with Thin Prep. The Pap test reveals the viral subtype and if there is a co-infection.


Treatment depends on the extent of the damage. If it is only for warts, doctors recommend laser exception. For cervical lesions depending on severity, he/she can simply monitor it. Or in more severe cases, the doctor may decide to perform surgery (conical cervical excision).


The condom does not provide substantial protection against HPV but it reduces the
transmission of the virus.

HPV and Vaccination

Today we have 2 vaccines (Gardasil and Cervarix) that prevent contamination from the most dangerous carcinogenic types of HPV.

Vaccination by the generation of protective antibodies protects against types 16 and 18 by 100%. 1these two types the are the most likely to produce HPV types of cancer responsible for a total of 71% of cancer cases. Gardasil includes, in addition to 16 and 18, non-oncogene types 6 and 11 (those causing the warts) and appears to protect well. On the other hand, Cervarix includes types 16 and 18. The vaccines require three doses every 2 to 4 months.

In July 2009, scientists announced in a major clinical trial that Gardasil prevents a total of five oncogenes HPV virus strains except for 16 and 18. Thus, it provides additional protection against cancer by 11-16%. In August 2010 the European authorities and EOF adopted a new and expanded package leaflet for Gardasil. This happened because they had evidence of protection against the five most common oncogenic types of HPV.

Studies have shown that the combination of vaccination and regular prophylactic testing with the Pap Test can reduce the incidence of cancer in the uterine cervix by up to 95%.