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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

CANADA: Free HPV Vaccine Urged for Boys (04.15.12) - Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Provinces should expand their free human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine programs to cover boys as well as girls, the Canadian Cancer Advocacy Coalition recently recommended. "Now is the time for governments to apply universal vaccine coverage for our boys and our girls to protect them from disease in the future," said a CCAC report.

Province-based programs have provided free HPV vaccination for girls for nearly five years. In 2010, Health Canada expanded approval of the Gardasil HPV vaccine for use in males; another vaccine, Cervarix, is approved only for females. Then in January, Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommended HPV vaccination for males ages nine to 25.

Dr. Marina Salvadori, the Canadian Pediatric Society's representative to NACI, currently advises parents to buy the HPV vaccine for their sons. However, she said governments could purchase larger quantities of the vaccine more cheaply, offering "good bang for the health care buck." "The thought is if we vaccinate men, that will contribute to protecting women as well. So they don't spread the viruses to each other, both groups are protected from cancer and it's a win-win all round." Health officials in several provinces say they are reviewing whether to include males in their HPV vaccination programs.


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Information in this article was accurate in April 17, 2012. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.