What is HPV?
Human Papillomaviruses are common viruses, some of which cause genital warts, various cancers and other diseases. There are more than 150 types of HPV, at least 14 are linked to cancer.
How do you catch it?
HPV is very contagious and can spread through skin to skin contact. HPV can be spread through sexual intercourse, including hand genital contact and oral sex and from infected mothers to their new born baby during birth.
As most people do not know when they are infected, an infected person can unknowingly spread the virus to others.
Generally people have no symptoms of HPV infection, except as genital warts. It is therefore important for all women to undergo regular cervical smear tests, whether they have been vaccinated or not. Currently, around 150 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 50 women die from it each year in New Zealand. If left undetected HPV can lead to cancer, including cervical cancer, anal cancer and cancers affecting the mouth, throat, vulva, vagina and penis.
HPV vaccine is highly effective in preventing infection with the most common high risk HPV types. The best time for HPV Immunisation is prior to any sexual activity. HPV vaccine is recommended and funded for girls and boys aged 9 to under 27 years.
Please contact the practice and ask to speak to a Practice Nurse on 03 3193501 if you have any questions or talk to the reception team if you would like to book to have the vaccination.
Follow the link below for further information or visit the Immunisation Advisory Centre website: www.immune.org.nz