HPV FAQs

Who is funding the Increasing Parental Knowledge and Interest in HPV Vaccination study?
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) if the funder of the education sessions. The NCI is the federal government’s principal agency for cancer research and training. NCI’s mission is to lead, conduct, and support cancer research across the nation to advance scientific knowledge and help all people live longer, healthier lives. In 2019, KCI was awarded a grant by NCI to provide HPV education in the metropolitan Detroit area in order to increase knowledge and interest in the HPV vaccine

Who is Wayne State University (WSU)?
Wayne State University is a premier public research university located in Midtown Detroit. WSU is known for its contributions to academics, research and meaningful engagement in its urban community.

Who is Karmanos Cancer Institute (KCI)?
Karmanos Cancer Institute is a cancer hospital and research center. It is the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center in metro Detroit and one of just 51 centers in the United States.

Who is Detroit Parent Network (DPN)?
DPN is a parent membership association with 1200 members who pay a small annual fee for a wide array of member benefits. Through a diverse range of programming, DPN reaches approximate 8500 individuals annually and works to improve parental involvement through education.

What is a virus?
In medicine, a virus is a microorganism that can infect cells and cause disease. Viruses are not considered to be alive due to the fact that they can only multiply inside infected cells.

What is Human Papillomavirus (HPV)?
HPV is a group of more than 200 related viruses, some of which are spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex. There are two types of HPV: low-risk and high-risk.
https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/infectious-agents/hpv-and-cancer

How common is HPV?
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). HPV is a different virus than HIV and HSV (herpes). 79 million Americans, most in their late teens and early 20s, are infected with HPV.
https://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm

How do you get HPV?
HPV is a sexually transmitted virus. It is passed on through genital contact (such as vaginal and anal sex). It is also passed on by skin-to-skin contact. HPV is not a new virus. But many people don’t know about it. Most people don’t have any signs.
https://www.fda.gov/consumers/women/hpv-human-papillomavirus

Can a woman pass HPV onto her fetus?
Most of the time, a baby born to a woman with genital warts does not have HPV-related complications. In very rare cases, a baby born to a woman who has genital warts will develop warts in the throat.
https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/recurrent-respiratory-papillomatosis

Does HPV cause cancer and other diseases?
Yes, HPV can cause certain cancers and diseases. For females, certain types of HPV can cause cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and anal cancer and genital warts. For males, certain types of HPV can cause, throat, neck, penile, anal cancer and genital warts.

How does HPV Cause Cancer?
When high-risk HPV infects normal cells, it causes them to multiply at an uncontrollable rate. These infected cells, if left untreated, become cancer. It may take 10 to 20 years, or even longer, for HPV-infected cervical cells to develop into a cancerous tumor.

How do you detect HPV?
Cervical cancer is the only HPV-caused cancer for which FDA approved screening tests are available. No other detection methods are in use for the other cancer types.

What is the HPV Vaccine?
The HPV vaccine (Gardasil 9) helps protect you against certain types of HPV that can lead to cancer or genital warts.
HPV types 16 and 18 — the 2 types that cause 80% of cervical cancer cases.
HPV types 6 and 11, which cause 90% of genital warts cases.
Another 5 types of HPV (types 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58) that can lead to cancer of the cervix, anus, vulva/vagina, penis, or throat.
https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/stds-hiv-safer-sex/hpv/should-i-get-hpv-vaccine

Why is it important for boys to get the vaccine?
HPV doesn’t only affect women. Nearly 4 out of every 10 cases of cancer caused by HPV occur among men.
Every year in the U.S., over 14,000 men get cancers caused by HPV
https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/parents/cancer.html

At what age should my child get vaccinated?
The HPV vaccine is recommended at age 11 or 12 years to all children, but can be given starting at age 9. The vaccine is recommended through age 26.
The vaccine is also available for adults’ age 27 – 45 years but should be spoken about with a clinician.
https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6832a3.htm

Can you get the vaccine if you are pregnant?
HPV vaccine is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Women who are known to be pregnant should delay initiation/continuation of the vaccine series.
The vaccine HAS NOT been causally associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes or with adverse effects on the developing fetus, but data on vaccination during pregnancy are limited.
https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/hpv/hcp/recommendations.html

Do women and girls who have been vaccinated still need Pap tests?
Yes. Females who get vaccinated will still need Pap tests because the vaccines do not prevent all types of HPV that can cause cervical canc

Where can I get the vaccine?
You can get the vaccine from you or your child’s primary care physician.
Or you can go to one of the following centers in the Detroit Metropolitan area.
Samaritan Center (Detroit Health Department Immunization Program) 5555 Conner St, Detroit, MI 48213 Main Phone Number: (313) 876-4667
Immunization Dept. Number: (313) 410-8142. Not taking regular appointments. Are not giving any vaccines right now until stay at home order is lifted. No ETA in sight. Will follow the Governor’s orders. All nurses are in the field working at the drive through testing centers. Recommended Concentra Urgent Care Centers.
DCHC Woodward Corridor Family Medical Center 611 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Detroit, MI 48201 Main Phone Number: (313) 832-6300
Receptionist said most appointments are now telemedicine, not offering the vaccine at this time.
Called Oakland County Health Department: They are not giving any vaccines unless an emergency.

How much does the HPV vaccine cost?
If you do not have health insurance, each dose of the vaccine typically costs approximately $200. For those without insurance, the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program may be able to help, or certain offices may have a sliding fee program.

How long does the HPV vaccine last?
Current research shows the vaccine series protects against nine types of HPV for at least 10 years. There is no sign that the vaccination protection decreases with time. Research will continue to find out how long protection against HPV lasts, and if booster vaccines will be necessary.

How safe is the Vaccine?
The safety of the HPV vaccine has been well studied. The HPV vaccines have went through years of extensive safety testing before it was licensed by the FDA, which only licenses a vaccine if it is safe, effective, and the benefits outweigh any risks.
Fainting and related symptoms (such as jerking movements) can happen after any medical procedure, including vaccination. Some people, especially teens, faint after being vaccinated. To prevent fainting-related injuries, people receiving HPV vaccines should sit or lie down during vaccination, then patients should be observed for 15 minutes after receiving the shot. Although rare, a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis can also occur following HPV vaccines.
https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/parents/vaccinesafety.html

Is it true that vaccines cause autism?
Extensive reviews of research studies test cases have been conducted and most medical organizations have concluded that there is no relationship between vaccines and autism16. These include:
Institute of Medicine (advises U.S. Congress);
American Academy of Pediatrics;
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
American Medical Association;
American Academy of Family Physicians
World Health Organization.

Why hasn’t our doctor ever talked to us about the HPV vaccine?
Doctors are sometimes uncomfortable talking to parents about HPV vaccine because they don’t feel comfortable discussing sex.

Who should NOT get the vaccination?
Anyone with severe allergy to yeast should not get the Gardasil vaccine.

Will the vaccine increase sexual promiscuity in my child?
Some parents believe that HPV vaccination will increase sexual promiscuity, possibly by encouraging more sexual risk-taking owing to protection from the vaccine.
There has been no research to back up this claim. A previous study found no different in sexual activity for girls who were vaccinated versus girls who were un0vaccinated
Pediatrics November 2012, 130 (5) 798-805; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2012-1516

Why does my child need to be vaccinated if he/she won’t have sex until she is married?
Your child’s future husband or wife may have had premarital sex and may have HPV.

What if I have been treated for cervical dysplasia in the past and I never received the HPV vaccine, should I receive it now?
Yes. If you are 45 years of age or younger you should receive the HPV vaccine even if you have been treated for cervical dysplasia in the past. The HPV vaccine can help prevent a future infection from other HPV strains.

Why are African American women more likely to die from cervical cancer?
The reasons for this discrepancy include:
Racial ethnic minorities are less likely to get treatment quickly after a cancer diagnosis. This can be due to the type of health insurance, or past health care experiences. And the time interval between cervical cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment have a significant negative impact on health outcomes. The reason for this treatment delay is thought to be because of reduced health literacy (the ability to obtain, read, understand, and use healthcare information) in minority communities.
African American women are more likely to have two or more comorbidities, on top of their cancer diagnosis, compared to White women. Comorbidities are chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes that occur in a patient. Comorbidities are associated with lower levels of health literacy and with later stage at cancer diagnosis.
Source: Impact of Age and Comorbidity on Cervical and Breast Cancer Literacy of African Americans, Latina, and Arab women. Nursing Clinics of North America, Volume 50, Issue 3, September 2015, Pages 545 563. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4559754/#R114

Where can I find out more information about HPV?
Talk to your health care provider and visit one of the following sites:

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).
https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-71550_2955_2975_65691—,00.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/

American Cancer Society (ACS)
https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/infectious-agents/hpv.html

Study Contact Information

WSU/KCI

Brittany Dowe, Study Coordinator
Office: 313-576-8876
Email: doweb@karmanos.org

Sheena Cresswell, Research Assistant
Email: cresswes@karmanos.org

Hayley Thompson, Principal Investigator
Office: 313-576-9734
Email: thompsoh@karmanos.org