Should Young Men be Vaccinated Against Human Papillomavirus?

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Vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) is recommended for young women to protect them from HPV infection and cervical cancer. Male HPV immunization is increasingly a topic of debate in the medical community. A timely review of the literature published in Viral Immunology explores whether HPV vaccination of young men is warranted and cost effective.

Gorren Low and colleagues from University of Southern California and David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, and Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C., have published a comprehensive review of the recent medical literature to evaluate the potential for reducing illness caused by HPV infection and the cost-effectiveness of expanding routine HPV vaccination to include young males. They present their recommendations in the article, "Can Male Vaccination Reduce the Burden of Human Papilloma-Related Disease in the United States?"

Both females and males can transmit HPV and both can become infected and develop genital warts. Reducing the risk of cervical cancer in women has been the main focus of education, marketing, and immunization campaigns associated with the introduction of two effective HPV vaccines. The question now is whether to expand that effort to encourage vaccination among males.

"The authors have dissected the public health, social, ethical, marketing, and economic implications of including of males in HPV vaccination programs," says David L. Woodland, PhD, editor-in-chief of Viral Immunology and chief scientific officer for the Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology. "The data reviewed in this superb paper will be of considerable interest for public health professionals, vaccine researchers, and physicians alike."

 

 

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