Vaccines against STDs
We offer several vaccines (immunizations) at San Francisco City Clinic that can prevent infections spread through sexual contact. These vaccines are extremely safe and they work well.
Our clinicians determine who can receive vaccines at our clinic. Many of our vaccines are for people who do not have insurance or whose insurance does not cover vaccines. People enrolled in our HIV primary care program may receive additional vaccines, including influenza, prevnar, pneumovax and TDaP.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is spread by sexual contact. There are many types of the HPV virus and vaccination protects against nine types of HPV associated with cancers of the cervix, vagina, vulva, anus, throat, and penis, as well as genital warts.
The HPV vaccine (also known by the brand name Gardasil 9) is recommended for everyone aged 11-26 years old. It can also be given to adults 27-45 years old as a series of three shots. For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control.
Hepatitis A vaccination protects people from hepatitis A virus, which can cause a serious disease of the liver. Hepatitis A virus is spread by fecal-oral contact, including rimming (a mouth touching the anus/butt) and swallowing food or water that is contaminated with the virus.
Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for all children when they turn one year old, and unvaccinated adults who are at risk for getting hepatitis A. This includes men who have sex with men, people experiencing homelessness, and people who use drugs. Hepatitis A vaccine is given as a two dose series. For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control.
Hepatitis B is another virus that can lead to serious liver disease. Illness from hepatitis B can be short term or lifelong. The hepatitis B virus is spread through contact with an infected person’s blood, semen or other body fluid, which can happen during sex and while sharing needles or other injection equipment. The virus can also be spread by sharing razors or toothbrushes with an infected person. Mothers can also pass the virus to their newborns.
Since 1991, the hepatitis B vaccine has been recommended in the United States for all children, starting at birth. It is also recommended for all sexually active adults who have not previously received the vaccine. For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control.
Meningitis is a very serious infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, caused by a bacteria (Neisseria meningitides). This bacteria, which can also cause a serious blood infection, spreads from close contact with an infected person (like coughing or kissing) or from extended contact among people who spend a lot of time together. Even when treated, meningococcal infections can cause permanent disabilities or even death.
The meningococcal ACWY vaccine is recommended for all adolescents and young adults 16-23 years old, and for certain groups of adults, including people with HIV and anyone who may be exposed because of a meningococcal disease outbreak in their community. In recent years, outbreaks of meningococcal disease have occurred in men who have sex with other men in some urban areas. For this reason, men who have sex with other men should consider vaccination, regardless of their HIV status. The meningitis ACWY vaccine is given as one dose or a series of two doses, depending on your age and risk factors. For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control.