Klinik Temasya
Men's Health

Gender neutral HPV vaccination: Should men get vaccinated too?

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Worldwide, HPV cause about 5% of all new cancers occuring in males and females annually. HPV is responsible for causing cervical cancer, anal cancer, vulvar and vaginal cancer and penile cancer. HPV is also responsible for causing genital warts. HPV is a widespread virus transmitted via sexual activity and studies have shown that 75% to 80% of males and females will be infected with HPV in their lifetime. Although most HPV can cleared on its own, persistence of certain HPV types may lead to potentially serious diseases. It is not possible to predict who will or won't clear the virus. Despite extensive evidence of HPV infectivity, there are disparities in the cancer screening and vaccination towards men and women in current healthcare programme. Most men do not receive the same recommendation by their doctors in regard to HPV vaccination and clinical guidelines for use of HPV vaccination for cancer prevention among male patient are still lacking.

Cervical cancer screening programme through pap smear is one of the most successful public health programme against cancer currently widely available for female patient. The pathological process of anal cancer is similar to that of cervical cancer. An estimated 80% of anal cancer is caused by HPV 16 and 18. Around 90% of genital warts caused by HPV 6 and 11. Genital warts are highly contagious and more than 75% of sexual partners develop warts when exposed. Men appear not to develop immunity to HPV following natural infection and thus are exposed to high risk of recurrence.

Studies have shown that men continue to be at risk of HPV infection throughout their life. HPV does not discriminate between men and women and use of HPV vaccination have shown good results in clinical trial in men. HPV vaccination for young boys can substantially decrease prevalence of HPV infection and reducing their cancer risks in the future. 

Talk to our healthcare providers for more information about HPV vaccination.

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