Exactly ten years ago, the Fleet Street Clinic became the first practice in the UK to offer the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine, even before it became available on the NHS. The new vaccine (Gardasil 9), offers protection against a total of nine HPV strains. This most recent vaccine has been licensed in the USA since December 2014, but is only now being launched in the UK. It is of course available first at the Fleet Street Clinic.
The new HPV vaccine supersedes Cervarix, the 2-strain HPV vaccine introduced as part of the NHS programme, as well as Gardasil, the 4-strain alternative that replaced it. The NHS programme currently targets just adolescent girls, but the Fleet Street Clinic strongly believes this vaccine should be offered more widely, and that there should be a focus on boys as well.
HPV infections are the most common sexually transmitted infections. More than 40 HPV types can be spread through direct sexual contact. Of these, about a dozen, including HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58, are high-risk—that is, persistent infection with these HPV types can cause cellular changes that may progress to cancer, including cervical, anal, penile, vaginal, vulvar, and oropharyngeal cancers. HPV types 16 and 18 are responsible for approximately 70% of all cervical cancers and HPV types 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58 are responsible for another 20% of cervical cancers.
Gardasil 9 protects against infection with HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58 – described in an editorial in theNew England Journal of Medicine as a “milestone in expanding the coverage of cancers associated with the human papilloma virus (HPV)”.
Gardasil 9 is licensed in the UK but is not likely to become available on the NHS for several months. The NHS does not normally offer HPV vaccines to boys or men.
Please contact us on 020 7353 5678 if you would like to be vaccinated or if you have any further questions or queries.
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