A study published in the June issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases states that since the introduction of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in 2006, vaccine-type HPV prevalence decreased 56% among female teenagers 14-19 years of age. 

Using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data, Dr. Lauri Markowitz and colleagues at the CDC compared the prevalence of HPV infection among women aged 14-59 before the start of the HPV vaccination program (2003-2006) with prevalence after vaccine introduction (2007-2010). The study showed the vaccine to be highly effective in reducing vaccine-type HPV in U.S. teens.

According to CDC, each year in the U.S., about 19,000 cancers caused by HPV occur in women, and cervical cancer is the most common.  About 8,000 cancers caused by HPV occur each year in men in the U.S., and oropharyngeal cancers are the most common.

Routine vaccination at age 11–12 for both boys and girls is recommended, but according to recent national immunization surveys, only about half of all girls in the U.S.—and far fewer boys—received the first dose of HPV vaccine. A series of three shots is recommended over six months.  HPV vaccination is also recommended for older teens and young adults who were not vaccinated when younger.

The promising results of this study may aid clinician/patient discussions regarding the benefits of HPV vaccination.

Two HPV vaccines are currently available: Cervarix (bivalent HPV vaccine types 16 and 18; GlaxoSmithKline) and Gardasil (quadrivalent HPV vaccine types 6, 11, 16, and 18; Merck).

For more information visit US.GSK.com or Gardasil.com.