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Old 07-31-2008, 04:37 AM   #1
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Question Getting the Vaccine after you have High-Risk HPV- Benefit/Not? Why no pretest first?

My 20 yr. old daughter finished the Gardisil(sp?) vaccine series and a few weeks later was diagnosed with High-Risk HPV. It appears she didn't get the DNA testing to see which strain(s) she has (may still do this). Biopsy Pathology shows "positive P16 and a few koilocytic cells which support a high-risk HPV infection".

Hypothetically, if she only has one strain of the H-R HPV am I right in saying that the vaccine will now protect her for life against the other strains (so it would be beneficial for her to get the DNA testing, right?)?

When I searched for answers, some were saying that having the vaccine after "Helped" their H-R HPV that they already had. I thought that wasn't possible? The vaccine doesn't do anything for strains you already have, right?

Can getting the vaccine after you have it do anything bad- can it add strength to the strain you have? Some vaccines include live virus...is this one of those?

Why don't they do the testing for HPV before the vaccine; is there no benefit in this?

 
Old 07-31-2008, 05:01 AM   #2
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Re: Getting the Vaccine after you have High-Risk HPV- Benefit/Not? Why no pretest fi

I'm sure it's partly a cost/benefit thing. Adding pre-screening for existing HPV could easily double the cost. The reason it's supposed to be giving to young (virgin) girls is so that it maximizes the probability that she doesn't already have HPV. If she already has it, then it's potentially wasted (how wasted depends on which strains she has). On the other hand, it doesn't hurt (no, it isn't a live virus) so again, it's a cost thing. It is cheaper to include some people who may not benefit from it, than to test everyone first. Did your daughter, knowing she was already sexually active, not realized she could already carry HPV and wasn't exactly a prime candidate for the vaccine?

 
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Old 07-31-2008, 05:50 AM   #3
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Question Re: Getting the Vaccine after you have High-Risk HPV- Benefit/Not? Why no pretest fi

By the time she started the Gardisil shots (this past January) she received them from a GYN Specialist who suggested them. At that point she was seeking relief from 5 years of vulvar itching (turns out to be a primary symptom of VIN which she was finally just diagnosed with last week). I was at that appointment and the Specialist absolutely knew she was sexually active already, and so yes, we knew she could already have HPV. What we weren't told was that there was a test for HPV. It doesn't sound likely that she would carry all the strains that the vaccine treats, so she would have gotten the vaccine anyway, but we would have gotten the test as well, just to know if she had it (like any STD).

I guess the real question is not really pre-testing but why aren't sexually active girls that haven't had the vaccine yet offered the HPV test? I only heard about the test because I was in for my GYN annual test last week and they offered it to me for the first time (said I didn't need since my cervix was taken out- I'll start a new thread about that one). The nurse even made a point to mentioned that they've just started offering this to older women only, I believe she said over 35. Shouldn't younger girls (sexually active, no vaccine) get this HPV test just like they do for other STD's? Why is there no standard for offering it?

Last edited by HerMom2; 07-31-2008 at 05:51 AM.

 
Old 07-31-2008, 06:27 AM   #4
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Re: Getting the Vaccine after you have High-Risk HPV- Benefit/Not? Why no pretest fi

you will be hearing more and more as this virus is going around like wildfire and is rampant everywhere. the doctors are learning more and more since they discovered hpv causes cervical cancer. the media is certainly talking about it more and more. there are so many strains that they are having a hard time separating them but i feel it causes more problems than just the cervic. it's to me a really powerful virus. it seems to do damage even laying dormant.

 
Old 07-31-2008, 06:32 PM   #5
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Re: Getting the Vaccine after you have High-Risk HPV- Benefit/Not? Why no pretest fi

I was never told which strain of high risk HPV I have/had. I'm not even totally sure the doctors know. I haven't seen anything about that on any of my pathology/lab reports - and I have all of them for this horrible journey!

Please remember that the Gardisil vaccine only has 4 strains of HPV: 2 low risk and 2 high risk. Granted, I think the 2 low risk account for something like 75% of warts and the 2 high risk account for 80% of cervical cancer . . . but there are many others besides those 4.

 
Old 07-31-2008, 06:40 PM   #6
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Re: Getting the Vaccine after you have High-Risk HPV- Benefit/Not? Why no pretest fi

Adding,

I think the reason we are hearing so much about HPV now is because Merck is marketing Gardisil. They are pouring a LOT of money into making sure the public knows (at least a little bit) about HPV.

I also think we are hearing more and more of it because the link between HPV and cervical cancer, and now other cancers, was discovered in 1976 (I believe). It has taken years for researchers to gather what we know about HPV (100+strains, 20+ in genitals, connected with cancer, various strains as high or low risk, etc). I believe the test for HPV was approved only about 4 or 5 years ago, so it is only now becoming more frequently used.

The theory behind NOT testing women under 30 is that they are more likely to be able to fight the virus and not develop atypical or cancer cells. Women over 30 have a more difficult time fighting the virus.

 
Old 08-01-2008, 04:35 AM   #7
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Re: Getting the Vaccine after you have High-Risk HPV- Benefit/Not? Why no pretest fi

just curious, is your daughter on the pill. if so then how long and which kind?

Last edited by bob2009; 08-01-2008 at 04:35 AM.

 
Old 08-07-2008, 04:34 PM   #8
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Re: Getting the Vaccine after you have High-Risk HPV- Benefit/Not? Why no pretest fi

She has been on the "patch" since I believe age 16 (maybe it was 15), and recently switched to the Nuvaring this last year (so about 4-5 years of birth control).

 
Old 08-25-2008, 12:12 AM   #9
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Angry Re: Getting the Vaccine after you have High-Risk HPV- Benefit/Not? Why no pretest fi

I know that I'm going to sound like a militant..... but only after being diagnosed with VIN III and having Cervical dysplasia, (despite a long history of diligently getting STD tests, getting routine gynecological check ups, and being responsible regarding my sexual activity) I learn that there was no "commercially viable" test for men and (apparently) no policy or procedure of testing women for HPV prior to signs of infection (too darn late)!!!!

I can say that I feel tremendous rage at the health care industry, pharmaceutical companies, the government, and all others who are/were in a position to inform women of the specialized risks this virus has on women. I just read an article that stated that a majority of people get some form of HPV in their lifetime and that men generally don't get symptoms.

Only now, when a vaccine (Guardisil) that a company wants to make a profit off of, is this virus and its devastating effects coming to light. According to my doctor the link between HPV and Cervical Cancer and now VIN/VaIN in young women is nothing new (know since the 70s). Only after getting an abnormal pap was I told that all of my efforts to be responsible and to take ownership of my health was futile in regards to HPV.

I am really trying not to direct my anger at those who are and have been working at solving and defeating this virus. Nonetheless, people need to ask themselves why a virus capable of directly causing Cancer, riping away a woman's fertility and capacity for sexual functioning, can result in disfigurement and immense pain, is only now being publicized in a meaningful way?!?!?! I am an educated woman with more resources than many, and I now know that I have been in the dark for years. It really didn't matter what I did to protect myself or others. It didn't matter that I thought I was asking all the relevant and important questions. The information was out there, and the people who could have warned me didn't.

I can't help but think.....if men were plagued by cancerous/disfiguring/etc. complications with their penises, testicles, prostates, would HPV have stayed such an enigma? I hope that I'm wrong, but then I remember the protracted fight for women's sufferage, birth control, choice, and that women couldn't even get their tubes tied without their husband's permission as late at the 70s. Why should I be surprised that this battle claims women as its victims and that the response is pitifully belated.

 
Old 08-25-2008, 04:13 PM   #10
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Re: Getting the Vaccine after you have High-Risk HPV- Benefit/Not? Why no pretest fi

Kansas79, I am so sorry you feel this way. I could have written parts of your post. Before my hrHPV (not cleared), probably various strains, I considered myself extremely well-educated, especially about STDs. I, too, have always been so responsible about my sexual activities and sexual health. I'm not exactly the poster child for HPV-problems, if by that the medical establishment means women who skip annuals/paps, promiscuous women, low-income women, etc.

But you're absolutely right. First, it is HORRIBLE that cervical cancer gets classified as an STD-cancer (as if having an STD alone isn't bad enough)...YET DOCTORS NEVER TOD US THAT IN THE 30 YEARS THEY'VE KNOWN??! I remember a Reader's Digest article from the 80s, when I was in grade school, that talked about a woman who had cervical cancer that went undetected despite regular screenings and cries for help (doctors didn't pay attention; pathologists misread slide after slide) until it was too late. Not once did this article mention that an STD caused this cancer.

And last week, in the latest city health magazine, there was a special on the gyn-onc (the only one in my area within a 5 hour radius) and how he "successfully treated" a woman with invasive cervical cancer. (AND NO, I would not call that a success just yet, because HPV has the ability to recur. And does in some women. I wouldn't call it anything of the sort until and unless the woman died of completely unrelated causes.)

How did they describe how her cancer was caught? She had "polyps" discovered "during a routine checkup." Can't the medical establishment just call it what it is?! The more knowledge, THE BETTER. WHO BETTER to inform women than doctors who are supposed to be at the forefront of this? And I don't mean knowledge that one has to go digging through medical archives to find...I mean knowledge that is readily accessible and commonly dispensed as you are paying for the services of your doctor. It would be one thing if HPV was extremely rare, but it's not, it's so widespread, and so severely affects the VERY CORE of being a woman.

Furthermore, it astounds me that the only "treatments" available for HPV-induced dysplasias (of any location on the body) is after the fact mutilation...again, dodging the problem, NEVER addressing it directly, only its effects...and paving the way for the problem to recur again and again (which it can, and sometimes does).

Just wanted to say you are not alone in this and thanks for posting.

 
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