Vaccinations for the Penis

You may have heard of the common STD condyloma or veneral warts which are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV).  Women have a vaccine (Gardisil) to reduce the risk of condyloma and cervical cancer. HPV can cause certain cancers of the anus and penis in men, although those diseases are far less common than cervical cancer in women. An estimated 20 million Americans, men and women, are currently infected with HPV. Symptoms are rare, however, so most people have the virus — and pass it on — without realizing it.

Now boys and young men who receive the human papillomavirus vaccine appear to be at reduced risk of contracting the virus and developing the genital warts associated with the common sexually transmitted disease, according to a large international study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine. Vaccinating men provides a benefit in that fewer men with HPV will also mean that fewer women are exposed to the cancer causing virus.

In an effort to prevent cervical cancer, which can be caused by HPV, public health officials have been encouraging young women to get vaccinated since the Food and Drug Administration approved the first HPV vaccine, Gardasil, in 2006. The vaccine has been approved for boys and men since 2009.

Gardasil is given in a series of three injections. In the study, which included more than 4,000 sexually active males between the ages of 16 and 26, roughly 0.5 percent of the boys and men who received all three shots developed genital warts during the subsequent 2 to 3 years. By contrast, about 2.8 percent of the study participants who received a placebo vaccine developed warts.

Earlier this week, for the first time, the American Academy of Pediatrics included the HPV vaccine on its list of recommended vaccines for boys.  Most health insurance plans cover HPV vaccination for both males and females.

Bottom Line:  HPV is a common STD.  Vaccines are now available to prevent the development of the lesions in men and reduce the risk of cervical cancer in men.  If you are a young man or have young sexually active boys, contact your doctor or pediatrician for more information.

http://bit.ly/hPlegx

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