Sexual Health news - Sexually Transmitted Diseases
New study suggests that HPV vaccination may be useful for people up to age 45
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination for girls and women aged 11 to 26 in order to reduce rates of cervical cancer. Additionally, some experts suggest that boys in the same age range should be vaccinated as well.
A new study that was published in the British Medical Journal suggests that these recommendations should be reviewed, as the HPV vaccine may have positive benefits for people as old as 45.
In a review of 17,000 women in Austria who received the HPV vaccine, researchers from MedUni Vienna discovered that the inoculation was effective at reducing the rate of a secondary infection of the virus. Authors of the study said this finding suggests that the vaccination may be useful to curb rates of cervical and anal cancer in people older than 26.
"We have been able to show that the risk of a renewed disease is reduced by two-thirds with this vaccination," said lead researcher Elmar Joura. "It provides protection not only from cervical cancer but also from other types of cancer, such as anal carcinoma. This protection applies to men and women equally."
The CDC reports that the HPV vaccines are not currently licensed for use in individuals older than 26, as research has shown that it's most effective in younger women. However, the agency recommends regular screening for cervical cancer to improve a female's chances of early detection, which may be especially important for women with certain strains of HPV.
Using condoms regularly and properly, as well as getting tested for sexually transmitted infections, may reduce an individual's chances of contracting or spreading HPV.