17 doctors weighed in:

How long after first oral sex will HPV vaccine help prevent transmission?

17 doctors weighed in
Dr. Margot Watson
Gynecology
8 doctors agree

In brief: It will not prevent

Hpv is spread through oral sex.
It is found in the mouth/throat of about 7-14% of sexually active adults and causes mouth/throat cancer. The vaccine does not prevent transmission of the virus and it does not treat the virus that is already acquired. It greatly reduces the chance of catching the strains of the virus most likely to cause cancer if given before exposure.

In brief: It will not prevent

Hpv is spread through oral sex.
It is found in the mouth/throat of about 7-14% of sexually active adults and causes mouth/throat cancer. The vaccine does not prevent transmission of the virus and it does not treat the virus that is already acquired. It greatly reduces the chance of catching the strains of the virus most likely to cause cancer if given before exposure.
Dr. Margot Watson
Dr. Margot Watson
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2 comments
Dr. Theresa Willett
The vaccine cannot treat or stop an infection if you have already been exposed to the virus. That is why we recommend getting the HPV vaccine series so early in adolescence.
Dr. H. Hunter Handsfield
Completely agree, but will add that although HPV is transmitted by oral sex, its with low efficiency cmpared with vaginal or anal intercourse; the prevalence of genital/anal HPV is 25-50%, i.e. 3-4 times higher than oral. Of the several types of oral/throat cancer, only one (pharyngeal) is clearly associated with oral HPV, and only with a single HPV type (HPV 16, covered by the vaccine).
Dr. Jeff Livingston
Obstetrics & Gynecology
6 doctors agree

In brief: Should be before

Hpv can absolutely be transmitted via oral sex.
In fact hpv causes a high percent of mouth, throat, head and neck cancers as well as penile, vaginal, cervical and anal cancers. Ideally vaccination should occur before sexual activity begins but now is better than never. Get vaccinated and practice safe sex.

In brief: Should be before

Hpv can absolutely be transmitted via oral sex.
In fact hpv causes a high percent of mouth, throat, head and neck cancers as well as penile, vaginal, cervical and anal cancers. Ideally vaccination should occur before sexual activity begins but now is better than never. Get vaccinated and practice safe sex.
Dr. Jeff Livingston
Dr. Jeff Livingston
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Dr. Usha Mukhytar
Gynecology
5 doctors agree

In brief: Unlimited

Oral sex does not transmit hpv therefore vaccine should work as long as no exposure to hpv.

In brief: Unlimited

Oral sex does not transmit hpv therefore vaccine should work as long as no exposure to hpv.
Dr. Usha Mukhytar
Dr. Usha Mukhytar
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2 comments
Dr. George Klauber
Must disagree. HPV is certainly transmitted via oral sex. Also known to a major cause of mouth and throat cancer. HPV vaccine needs to given before a subject has their first sexual encounter because it is so prevelent amongst young adults of both sexes. It can not be effective after exposure to HPV.
Dr. Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay
I agree with Dr Klauber. If you've had oral Sex with someone who's has HPv, getting a vaccine later will not prevent transmission from that encounter. HOWEVER, if that first encounter did not lead to transmission, getting the HPV vaccine immediately makes sense - it will prevent future transmission. HPV is VERY common, & so getting the vaccine for the future makes sense.
Dr. H. Hunter Handsfield
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease

In brief: Complex, see below

Not sure why this comes up up 2 yr after original question.
Middle ground to other replies from STD specialist perspective: Genital to oral HPV transmission occurs, but probably much less efficiently than genital-genital (prevalence of oral HPV is ~10% of genital). Oral to genital transmission appears to be rare. Vaccine is highly protective against covered types, regardless of route of exposure.

In brief: Complex, see below

Not sure why this comes up up 2 yr after original question.
Middle ground to other replies from STD specialist perspective: Genital to oral HPV transmission occurs, but probably much less efficiently than genital-genital (prevalence of oral HPV is ~10% of genital). Oral to genital transmission appears to be rare. Vaccine is highly protective against covered types, regardless of route of exposure.
Dr. H. Hunter Handsfield
Dr. H. Hunter Handsfield
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