A major high street store is pleased to announce that the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination is being extended to even more Nurse Clinics and selected Pharmacy stores in England, Scotland and Wales. The announcement comes on the back of service uptake for the vaccine increasing by 224% over the last two months.

Dr Pixie McKenna

Dr Pixie McKenna

We grabbed some time with Dr Pixie McKenna who gave told us everyhitng we need to know about HPV.  

What is HPV for those who are unsure?

The human papilloma virus which can cause different diseases in men and women eg. genital warts or cervical cancer or anal cancer.

Why has Superdrug decided to offer these vaccinations  for those aged between 9 and 26?

In the UK all girls in year 8 are offered the vaccine for free via the NHS.Many patients who would benefit from the vaccine are not eligible though this scheme.Superdrug is offering the vaccine to those who are either ineligible or may have missed out on the vaccine depending on their age.

Why do sexually active adults come into contact with this infection?

It is passed through sexual contact ranging from intercourse,oral sex or intimate skin to skin contact.It can also be passed from mother to child during birth.

How can the body clear the infection itself in some cases?

The immune system takes care of the infection and eliminates it in the vast majority of patients.

Why does it cause genital warts in some people?

Approximately 40 strains of HPV can target the genitals.Strains number 6 and 11 commonly cause warts.If you contact these you may then develop genital warts.

How does the virus damage the cells DNA?

The effect of the virus can damage the DNA in the cells of the cervix and anus and result in these cells dividing and growing out of control which may ultimately lead to Cancer.

Why is it still beneficial to teenage boys?

Because the sexual dynamics involve both sexes and in the majority of other countries both sexes are vaccinated to help extend to scope of the protection the vaccine provides.

Why is the new version of the vaccine better?

The new vaccine provides protection against 9 strains of HPV where the older vaccine provided protection against 4 strains only.

What are the symptoms of cervical cancer and why is it the second most common cancer in women aged 35 and under?

Bleeding between the periods,after intercourse or changes in the pattern of mensturation.Pain during sex and post menopausal bleeding.The increased incidence is due to increased HPV virus infection.

Should women still go for their smear test even if they have had the vaccine?