There are many different types of human papilloma viruses (HPV), but while most types of these viruses are harmless, some of them can cause cancer. In the genital area in particular, papilloma viruses are transmitted by vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse. Depending on the sexual practice, the viruses also reach the nose and throat area and can cause precancerous lesions and cancer there.

Distribution and Prevalence

Around 70% to 80% of sexually active women and men become infected with HPV during their lifetime. In 70% of the cases, the virus disappears within a year and in 90% within two years. The 16 to 25 year olds are particularly affected. The frequency of HPV infections increases with the number of sexual partners and the risk of infection is highest at the beginning of sexual activity.

HPV Vaccination

So far, there have been two different vaccines against HPV: both protect against the two types of HPV that are most likely to cause cervical and other cancers (16 and 18), and one of them additionally against two other types (6 and 11) that cause genital warts. Since 2019, a new vaccine (Gardasil 9®) is available, which protects against five additional cancer-causing HPV types in addition to the four already covered.

Teenagers and Young Adults

The benefit of the vaccination is greatest if it is completed before the first sexual experience. That’s why we recommend the HPV vaccination for all young people between the ages of 11 and 14. But it is also recommended for 15 to 26-year-olds, which is why it is recommended as make-up for an oversight or as a supplementary vaccination.

Requirements for HPV vaccination so your health insurance will pay for it

The costs of the vaccination for teenagers and young adults aged 11 to 26 are fully covered. However, the vaccination will have to be part of a cantonal vaccination programme. The physicians at alta uro support the cantonal HPP vaccination programme of the Canton of Basel-Stadt and are listed by the Department of Health as participating physicians.

How often do you need to be vaccinated?

The vaccination works best of it is done before the start of sexual activity and thus a possible infection with HPV viruses. To achieve optimum protection, two injections six months apart before the 15th birthday and after the 15th birthday three injections over a period of at least six months will be necessary.

Is a natural HPV protection to prefer to a vaccination?

No. Compared to vaccination, antibody formation is less frequent after a natural HPV infection and immunological protection against a renewed HPV infection is rare. The HPV vaccination, however, reliably stimulates the immune system.