“Boys should also be covered for HPV Vaccine” say experts

“Boys should also be covered for HPV Vaccine” say experts

As per the recent reports, Vaccination against Human Papilloma Virus has cut down the HPV infection by half. HPV infection is the leading cause of cervical cancer. The report may help convince the countries and communities to adopt the HPV vaccination for teen girls. In fact, the growing evidence of HPV vaccination suggests considering the boys too for vaccination as HPV causes cancer of mouth, throat, anus and genital warts.

Experts call for more coverage for HPV vaccination including boys too. The HPV vaccine like Gardasil and Cerverix are developed to help prevent cervical cancer. And it works against four strains of HPV causing almost all cases of this type of cancer.

Everyone who has unprotected sex, with no condom, has the possibility of catching HPV infection at some point of time. This virus dwells into the moist mucosal tissue of the genitals and mouth and can transmit through semen and fluids in vagina. In majority people, the virus may pass out without any infliction but in some cases the virus may stay and cause cervical cancer.

We are about to complete 10 years when the HPV vaccination and it is the time when we can observe whether this vaccination actually helped in reducing the number of cervical cancer. Although, some reports has indicated the fall in genital warts which surfaces within months of HPV infection. For an example, Australia, the first country which started HPV vaccination has seen the genital warts cases reduced by 61%.

Along with the favorable response from various countries, communities and experts, HPV vaccine has received the resistance too from the people of various walks of life. Some people who oppose HPV vaccine vouched that it could encourage unprotected sex.

The new study looked at data collected through large health surveys performed regularly in the US, which included a brief medical check-up. Researchers combined results from the latest two, carried out between 2009 and 2012, and found that about a third of 14 to 19-year-old girls had received all three doses of the vaccine.

These results were compared with two earlier surveys performed between 2003 and 2006, before the vaccine came in. They found that since the vaccine was introduced the number of 14 to 19-year-olds who had HPV in their vaginal fluid fell from 11.5 per cent to 4.3 per cent.

These results may help in convincing the people who opposed it. Although the study do instill fears in experts as it may encourage risky sexual behavior. The fear is real (as  by some reports in UK) around two-thirds of vaccinated women reported having had three or more sexual partners – about the same number as the unvaccinated group.

HPV Vaccine is available for boys in the US and Australia, but not in the UK or the Netherlands. One idea is to offer the vaccine only to gay men, as they have higher rates of anal cancer.

Journal reference: Pediatrics, DOI: 10.1542/PEDS.2015-1968