Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can men get a vaccine for HPV?"
Do just girls need to get the HPV vaccine or should men get it too?? Can they get it?
HPV or Human papilloma virus is the cause of vast majority of cervical cancers in females. There are multiple serotypes of the virus, but the two that are most commonly associated with cervical cancer are serotypes 16 and 18. The vaccine aims to immunize against these strains. At this time, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and prevention) recommends that all girls starting at age 11 or 12. The vaccine can be given as early as 9 years of age. At this time routine vaccination is recommended only for younger females. There's question of its efficacy at this time in the older female population, because for the vaccine to work, it is recommended that it be administered before exposure to HPV (i.e. before sexual encounters). The CDC does NOT recommend ROUTINE vaccination in boys/men. That being said, males CAN get the vaccine in certain situation. HPV has been shown to be responsible for genital warts and some anal cancers, as well as an increasing prevalence of some oral cancers. If the risk of these is high, or if genital warts have been a recurring infection in males, vaccination with HPV vaccine may be adviseable. Speak to your primary care physician whether or not you or your partner/friend/family member should get the HPV vaccine.
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