Saturday, February 4, 2012

The New Official Recommendations for Vaccinating Boys Against HPV Are Finally Here

Recently there has been a new wave of studies on oral HPV. Just last week, the New York Times reported on a study which found that there are actually now more men with oral HPV than Women. In fact Pooja even posted about it.

Historically the HPV vaccine has been recommended for girls and only encouraged for boys. This was because it was thought that boys were not nearly as susceptible to disease from HPV as girls. Of course it was encouraged to prevent genital warts and certain cancers however it was usually thought that the cancers were rare and could be somewhat looked over.

However, with the recent concern over oral HPV and its link to throat cancer the CDC has published a brand new recommendation. A footnote has been added to the HPV schedule which includes a “recommendation of the quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV4) vaccine for males aged 11 or 12 years and catch-up vaccination for males 13 to 21 years of age. Males aged 22 to 26 years may be vaccinated with HPV4 vaccine.” (Annals of Internal Medicine).

From Human and Viruses we of course know that this is an important step in reducing the disease prevalence within society. While the fact that men are also susceptible to cancer from HPV not good news, a push to get everyone (male or female) vaccinated will be an important step to reducing overall infection.

Which reminds me, I suppose it’s time for me to get my vaccine.

--Elena Jordan

The original article Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule: United States, 2012 found in Annals of Internal Medicine can be viewed at http://www.annals.org/content/early/2012/01/30/0003-4819-156-3-201202070-00388.full
The New York times article can be viewed at http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/02/new-vaccine-recommendations-hpv-for-boys-hepatitis-b-for-diabetics/?ref=health

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