If I'm not having sex, why do I need to get an HPV vaccination?

You might have heard teachers, nurses or doctors telling you that you're going to get an HPV vaccination. You might be saying, Wait. Hold up. Isn't HPV a sexually transmitted infection (STI)? But I'm not having sex. Do I need this?

The answer is, yes. Actually, the best time to get the vaccination is before you've started having sex. Vaccines are medicines given to us to prevent us from getting diseases, which means it's best to get a vaccine before you're exposed to HPV. That's why you probably got some vaccines when you were a baby – the earlier you get them, the better.

Getting vaccinated is not always fun – you have to get injections – but it's a pretty small price to pay for what you get. The HPV vaccine doesn't just protect you against HPV itself, it also protects you from getting cervical cancer as well.

So, getting an HPV vaccination is really effective before you've become sexually active. If you are already sexually active, though, it's still a good idea to get it. If you haven't already got HPV, it can protect you against getting it in the future.

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Claudel Draai 29 August 2017 20:48

Still waiting for an answer

Claudel Draai 25 August 2017 15:52

Could you please give more info regarding the HPV vaccine what it contains and how the vaccine work

B-Wise Expert Expert 4 September 2017 12:19

Hi Claudel Draai, thanks for your question! The HPV vaccine reduces the risk of cervical cancer and ano-genital warts in girls and women. The vaccine has proteins in it, which look a lot like HPV (but are NOT HPV – there’s no HPV in the vaccine!). Because they look like HPV, the proteins in the vaccine get your body to make HPV antibodies to protect your body against HPV. So if you ever get exposed to the real HPV, those antibodies will block HPV from infecting your body. This is why the HPV vaccine is most effective if you get it before you start having sex. 3 doses of the vaccine are usually given within 6 months. If you would like more information on the vaccine, please speak to a healthcare worker at your closest hospital or clinic, or read more about HPV in our HPV Section on B-Wise.

Anonymous 23 November 2016 10:58

At what age must children start to vacccinate?

B-Wise Expert Expert 24 November 2016 12:00

Hi there, thanks for your question. Vaccination of babies starts when they are born and continues up till the age of 12. They are available for free at all public health facilities. If you think any have been missed, take the child and their immunization card to your local clinic and the nurse can give them any vaccines they might need. To receive more information about your baby for free from NDOH, register for MomConnect at your local clinic or dial * 134 * 550 #.