HPV Vaccine for Boys Could Protect More at Same Cost
A Duke University study proposes a strategy to better use limited public health care dollars for protecting more people from human papillomavirus (HPV) and the cancers it can cause.
Public health programs that devote a portion of their funding to encourage more boys to be vaccinated against HPV, rather than merely attempting to raise coverage among girls, may ultimately protect more people for the same cost, the study suggests.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that both boys and girls ages 11-12 receive the HPV vaccine, but only 37 percent of preadolescent and early adolescent girls and 14 percent of adolescent boys in the U.S. have received all three shots in the HPV vaccine series — much lower than the proportion needed to keep the disease in check.
Although the virus is most frequently associated with cervical cancer, women aren’t the only ones at risk. The CDC estimates that a third of the 27,000 cases of cancer HPV causes in the U.S. each year occur in men.
Learn more at sciencedirect.com (search for “HPV”).
Katherine Kopp is a freelance writer and editor in Chapel Hill.