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Will HPV immunization still be helpful if you already have genital warts?

Hi

The HPV vaccine gives the best protection when it is given before someone starts having sex. As HPV is really common we know that people get exposed to it soon after they start having sex, but since most of the time HPV causes no symptoms people are unaware that this has happened.

If you have genital warts it means you have been exposed to at least one strain of HPV. At the clinic level, we have no tests available to see what strains of HPV you have been exposed to in the past. So, we don’t know how beneficial the vaccine would be. The good thing is that the new HPV vaccine protects people from multiple strains of HPV and it is unlikely that you have been exposed to all the types it protects against.

Given this we see no harm in getting the HPV vaccine, it is just difficult to know how much additional benefit it will provide you. If you are interested in the vaccine I would suggest visiting your family doctor or a health care center to discuss your specific situation to see if it would be good for you.

Also have a look at ImmunizeBC HPV vaccine info page for additional information on the vaccine.

Please leave a comment to let us know if this answers your question or if you need more information.

Health Nurse

For other readers, please feel free to leave a comment, or let us know if this was helpful.

This answer was posted on May 5, 2017

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