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

UNITED STATES: HPV Vaccine Gets a (Mostly) Clean Bill of Health


Los Angeles Times (10.01.12)

A study of the safety of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, Gardasil, showed no serious side effects. The vaccine protects the recipients from the sexually transmitted disease HPV, which can cause cervical cancer in women and genital warts in both men and women. It is now approved for both men and women ages nine to 26 years. The researchers assessed the safety of the vaccine using data from about 190,000 women who had received the vaccine at Kaiser Permanente hospitals, including 44,000 who received the recommended three doses. The investigation also considered whether the time period after a vaccination dose caused more health problems than the time period further from the dose. The researchers and an independent safety review board found just two conditions, of the many considered, that were elevated after a dose of the vaccine. These were fainting and skin infections. The exact cause of the two conditions is not known. The study concluded that the vaccine is safe. The researchers analyzed short time periods after injections, therefore it is not known whether there are long-term safety risks. The study titled, “Safety of Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Administered Routinely to Females,” was published online in the journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2012.1451)


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Information in this article was accurate in October 2, 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.