HPV vaccines for seniors

Patient

Q: I'm 63 years old and I got diagnosed with HPV recently. Will the HPV vaccines work for me? should I get one? I did the research online and it looks like the vaccines are only good for certain age group of people? Thank you for your answer in advance.

Doctor

A:   I understand your concern about HPV vaccination. This vaccine would not be too helpful in your case since studies have shown that for the HPV vaccine to work best, it is very important to get all 3 doses (shots) before being exposed to HPV. Someone can be infected with HPV the very first time they have sexual contact with another person. It is also possible to get HPV even if sexual contact only happens one time.
Therefore it is given preferably to women at an early age.
The second reason is that HPV vaccines will not treat or get rid of existing HPV infections. Also, HPV vaccines do not treat or cure health problems (like cancer or warts) caused by an HPV infection that occurred before vaccination.
I hope I cleared your doubt, I would suggest you to keep having your yearly PAP smears and regular checkups with your gynecologist to watch for possible changes.

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