Researchers find that the HPV shot could benefit men, but may not be cost-effective
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Even since the vaccine for the human papillomavirus (HPV) was created, there has been a debate over who should receive it. First, the arguments revolved around what would be an appropriate age to give girls the shot. While this debate has yet to be settled, the medical community is now torn over a new topic regarding the HPV vaccine - whether young men should also receive the shot.
Recently, researchers from University of Southern California, David Geffen School of Medicine and Georgetown University reviewed the scores of literature that exist on whether men should receive the HPV vaccine in order to come to a conclusion. The scientists decided that while it would be beneficial to vaccinate adolescent males against HPV - since this virus can cause anal and penile cancer - cost may stand in the way for some countries.
"The most prudent programs will include physician involvement in patient education and the implementation of structured vaccination and screening programs. Unfortunately, many countries do not have the necessary resources to undertake national vaccination programs," wrote study authors.
For these countries, the researchers said that the most financially reasonable option is to give the HPV shot to women and men who have sex with men, since these populations have the highest risk of contracting HPV.
They added that future marketing campaigns aimed at encouraging men to get the HPV vaccine should focus on the full range of benefits of the shot. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men who contract HPV may develop cancer of the penis, anus, or oropharynx (back of the throat, including base of the tongue and tonsils). Furthermore, some types of HPV may cause genital warts, so more men may want to consider getting vaccinated against this virus.
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