Medical Xpress (04.17.13)
Aids Weekly Plus
Researchers from the University Department of Gynecology at the Medical University of Vienna report that the next generation of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine—available in approximately two years—will protect people from 90 percent of HPV strains. The present HPV vaccination offers protection from 70 percent of HPV strains; 14 of these are associated with cancer.
Health officials attribute more than 90 percent of the approximately 400 cases of invasive cervical cancer diagnosed annually in Austria to HPV. The virus is also responsible for precancer cervical changes, genital warts, and a growing incidence of cancers in the genital area and throat. HPV infections often exhibit no symptoms until a cancer develops.
Dr. Elmar Joura urged the Austrian Health Ministry to include HPV vaccination in the vaccination program for children, which would provide public financing to vaccinate children during the optimum time to prevent HPV. Currently recommended for females aged 9 to 40 and males aged 9 to 26, the three-dose vaccine costs approximately 570 Euros per child. Australia, United States, and Germany have similar HPV vaccination recommendations.
According to Joura, data indicate the vaccine can be effective up to age 45. Joura estimated that HPV causes approximately 700 “avoidable” cancers each year in Austria. He advised that the HPV vaccination could also prevent 3,000 surgeries for precancer cervical changes and 15,000 cases of genital warts.