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HPV is very common. Approximately 70% of adults will have at least one genital HPV infection in their lifetime. Once they start having sex, many people get HPV within a few years.
The two vaccines available in BC are Gardasil™ and Cervarix™. These vaccines offer good protection against several types of HPV.
Gardasil™ protects against two types of HPV that cause 70% of cervical cancers and two types that cause 90% of genital warts. Cervarix ™protects against two types of HPV that cause 70% of cervical cancers.
In BC, Gardasil is free for girls in grade 6. Cervarix is free for woman born in 1991, 1992 and 1993. We recommend the vaccine for those who are eligible.
Others who want the vaccine need a prescription and they have to buy it from a pharmacy. The cost is approximately $500. Whether or not to get the vaccine is an individual decision. The vaccine is beneficial, but If you are paying for it you will have to weigh the benefits against the cost. Some private medical plans cover the cost of these vaccine.
Pap tests screen for early changes on the cells of the cervix that can lead to cervical cancer. Click here for more information on Pap tests and when to get them done.
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This answer was posted on January 24, 2013