Jen - without knowing (or needing) to know the specifics of said lurid past (!) we'd say you are correct in thinking that for you, the HPV vaccine might not be something to invest in. We know the vaccine is most effective when given to girls around the age of 12 - that is, before sexual activity commences. Also, the body produces a more effective antibody response to the vaccine in the early teens. That said, some women in their 30s might not have been exposed to the virus (ie via sexual activity) and in this case it'd be worth talking to their doctor about whether they might benefit from the vaccine. The vaccine costs $450 for three doses, administered over a 6 month period. It's available from GPs or free to girls in Year 7 through the schools-based National Immunisation Program.

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