Should Boys Get the HPV Vaccine Too?

Should the vaccine designed to protect girls against cervical cancer be given to boys, too? Dr Bruce reported details of a new study

Approximately 20-million americans have HPV, making it the most common the vaccine to prevent infection in young women.  However, it is not approved for men. As a result of this study that may soon change.

Brothers Danny and Craig Womack both signed up for a new study on the HPV vaccine.
"My brother dragged me into it, definitely, dragged me into it, but being a college student, you know, free easy money for a good cause. It's difficult to pass up," Craig said.

The Womack's were two of nearly four-thousand men, ages 16 to 26, taking part in an international study to see if the cervical cancer vaccine, Gardasil, can prevent disease in men. 

"we're so focused on hpv causing cervical cancer that most of us just haven't had the chance to recognize that in fact this infection causes cancer in men. We're talking about 90% of anal cancers, 50-80% of penile cancers and up to 60% of oropharyngeal cancers," according to Anna Giuliano, ph.D., cancer epidemiologist from the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute.

HPV is spread through sex, so it stands to reason that girls and boys might both benefit from the vaccine. 

"If we can reduce infection in men, we ultimately should be able to prevent transmission of that infection to females, 'cause there's that much less infection around to transmit," Giuliani said, "The data were so robust that merck has decided to create a filing and to submit it to the FDA. And the FDA is currently reviewing that filing for consideration of licensing the vaccine for males as well as for females."

"I'm extremely happy that i did it and the knowledge about the virus has definitely grown. I know a lot more about it than i did before," Craig said.

His brother Danny said it was all worth it, "I really wanted to be part of something that could help medicine to further itself and help men, especially young males that are coming into college, that are going into high school, that are ignorant to the actual hpv, you know, virus."
"Right now, Gardasil is given to girls in three doses over a six month period. Giuliano says it will be the exact same vaccine, and thus, the same course of treatment if the vaccine is approved for boys," Dr. Hensel said.

20 million people in the U.S. have an active HPV infection.
HPV causes 7600 cancers in men annually.
The HPV vaccine, Gardasil®, is approved for use in females 11 to 26.
Preliminary findings show the HPV vaccine may also decrease the risk for genital warts and precancerous lesions in young men by 90 percent.
For more details, refer to our comprehensive research summary.

For information on HPV or the vaccine:
American Cancer Society,
American Social Health Association,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

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