Evidence Of The Success Of HPV Vaccine and FDA On Study Showing Benefits Of Vaccine In Men
In 2007, Australia introduced a campaign targeting schools and promoting the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus vaccination for all females between the ages of 12 and 16. This included a program for those up to the age of 26 who had missed the opportunity of having the vaccination at an earlier age.
The expensive vaccination was free for girls and so enabled the campaign to reach two-thirds of the Australian female population. A recent survey has found that the aftermath of the campaign shows a massive decrease in the numbers attending clinics with genital warts. In women under the age of 26 at the time of vaccination, the cases of genital warts decreased by 59%. Numbers dropped by 28% in heterosexual men. The cases of genital warts did not decrease among men who had sex with other men and furthermore, the numbers did not decrease among women who lived in Australia but who were not resident to the country.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the United States has approved Cervarix and Gardasil for vaccination against HPV and genital warts. Gardasil, unlike Cervarix protects against two HPV strains that cause the majority of genital warts.
Certain medical groups such as the Federation of Medical Women of Canada are pushing public health figures for the vaccination of males as well as females in school. They argue that since men play such a vital role in the spread of this virus and because a substantial number do suffer from cancers caused by HPV that they should be treated as females are. Gardasil was recently recommended approval by an FDA panel who stated that this vaccine is beneficial in the prevention of anal cancer in men and women. The FDA is considering whether or not to extend the approval of Gardasil for this prevention.
HPV causes cancer of the cervix, vulva in women and of penile and anal cancer in men. In both men and women it is a primary cause of throat cancer. The figures for the annual HPV related cancer cases are represented by 14 cases in 100,000 among women and 7 out of 100,000 in men.
It is thought that the reason men are not vaccinated is due to the tremendous focus that has been placed on women regarding the HPV virus in the past and the reality that data on the male experience of HPV is just not in existence as a result.
Despite the expense of the $400 vaccination, it is the most cost-effective way of dealing with the virus in the long-term. Focusing on one gender to evade cost is counterproductive. We will still be paying for cancer treatment and care when penile, anal and throat cancers caused by HPV develop and could have been prevented.
An advisory panel for the FDA looked at a study carried out which involved approximately 4,000 men. 15% of the group were homosexual and so had an increased risk of developing anal cancer. 3% of those who had the Gardasil vaccine, developed cancer of the anus or lesions and a higher 12% of those in the placebo group developed such problems.
The FDA are planning not only to consider vaccinating men but will also be expected to decide on the vaccinations use in the prevention of cervical cancer in women aged 27 to 45 years.