Panel says boys should also get HPV vaccine

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal panel on Tuesday recommended that  all preteen children – not just girls – get a vaccine that prevents a common  sexually transmitted disease, in a move that public health experts hope will  lead to widespread immunity to the virus and, eventually, cut rates of certain  types of cancer.

The controversial vaccine against the human papilloma virus, or HPV, has been  recommended for 11- and 12-year-old girls since 2006, when studies showed that  girls and young women who were immunized had lower rates of cervical cancer.  Several types of HPV can cause cancers in the cervix, anus, head and neck.

But similar guidelines for boys lagged until recent studies showed that the  vaccine prevents genital warts in boys and young men and reduces rates of anal  cancer, especially in men who have sex with men.

The new recommendations, which will likely be formalized by the Centers for  Disease Control and Prevention by early next year, were based in large part on  that data. But a critical reason for including boys in the recommendations is to  protect girls from becoming infected with HPV, doctors and public health  officials said.

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