General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Is it too late in life to get an HPV vaccination?

Asked by Ltryptophan (9112 points ) June 3rd, 2013

I’m 31. I have had one sexual partner. To my knowledge it is the same for her. That fact is almost sure to change. Will an HPV vaccine do me any good? Is there a test for HPV infection? (Thanks for the serious heads up, Michael Douglas)

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15 Answers

Judi's avatar

I don’t think it could hurt.

Cupcake's avatar

I’m 33. It’s too late for me.

Insurance has age restrictions. You can call your physician or insurance company for information specific to you.

Ltryptophan's avatar

Thanks for info on age restrictions. I’d still pay for it if it would help though.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t see why you can’t. It won’t help you if you are already infected with the strains the vaccine guards against, but it will help if you don’t have them and want to guard against them. Although, if you are monogomous, there probably isn’t much point.

I am super happy Michael Douglas said something. I preach about this all the time. When actress Colleen Zenk Pinter first came out about her oral cancer being from HPV I saw her in an interview amd she said, “it’s odd because I don’t really have any of the risk factors.” I was so pissed! If she can tell me she never gave any man a blow job then she can say that. She never really explained how people get the HPV, and this was before there was more awareness. The only reason we have awareness is because A pharmaceutical company wants to make money. Doctors amd government were not really getting the message out and we have known for over 20 years the connection of HPV and cancer and that the majority of the population has been exposed to HPV. When Farrah Faucett anounced her cancer and then later died, I only saw one doctor, Sanjay Gupta, talk about it being HPV related. Now on The View today I heard the women on the show talk about what Douglas said and most of them were idiots! Only Elisabeth of all people said maybe it is to raise awareness and a good thing. Sherry talked about now men might be afraid women will give it to them. Um, yeah, that is the point!

Sorry for the rant.

Men can’t be tested really. Not on their penis. You can have your mouth tested like your cervix, and your anus I think. Most doctors won’t or don’t do it though. I’ve asked and they look at me funny. It’s annoying. Women die, what can I say, because of this attitude. Men too. Michael Douglas finally was diagnosed in Canada when doctors here did not diagnose him with cancer.

Ltryptophan's avatar

I hear I can’t get checked for it…

Lightlyseared's avatar

There is a test for HPV but as far as I know the only one on the market at the moment is designed for women (it is combined with a pap test).

The immune system can often clear HPV on its own although it can take up to 2 years. What is not clear is whether the virus is completely eliminated or just reduced to undetectable levels. It is also not clear whether it is still possible to transmit HPV when the virus is undetectable after a known infection.

Here’s a happy little thought – HPV has been linked to an increased risk of penile cancer. The treatment for penile cancer is often amputation.

Ltryptophan's avatar

@lightlyseared not cool! There’s some freudian stuff going on here!

JLeslie's avatar

I just want to interject one thing, the PAP test does not test for HPV, it tests for cellular changes in the tissue, there is a HPV test, but as far as I know doctors don’t do it regularly, maybe the regs have changed.

Rarebear's avatar

Why aren’t HPV vaccines recommended for people older than 26?
Both vaccines were studied in thousands of people from 9 through 26 years old and found to be safe and effective for these ages. The vaccine is not licensed in the United States for persons over age 26 years, as GARDASIL has not been demonstrated to prevent HPV-related outcomes in a general population of women and men older than 26 years of age.

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/hpv/vac-faqs.htm

JLeslie's avatar

@Rarebear So basically it would be just using the vaccine off label, it doesn’t mean it won’t work, just means it hasn’t been tested in that age group. There is every reason to assume it will be effective if the person has not been exposed yet to those strains of HPV. Not that I am recommendong it for the OP, I basically said it probably isn’t worth getting if the OP is in a monogamous relationship.

Rarebear's avatar

Nobody will give the vaccine if it’s not licensed for that use.

JLeslie's avatar

@Rarebear Doctors prescribe medicine all the time off label, I didn’t realize with vaccines they might adhere more strictly.

JLeslie's avatar

Sorry for a second post, but I was just thinking, don’t doctors give the shingles vaccine to people under 50 sometimes? I think that is off label isn’t it?

Rarebear's avatar

There is a difference between off label and not licensed.

JLeslie's avatar

@Rarebear Really? I didn’t know that. What’s the difference? I thought off label is using a drug when it is not licensed for that use. Meaning it has not been tested and approved for that particular use.

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