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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
PENNSYLVANIA: Local Health Experts Laud Papillomavirus Vaccine for Boys
Rachel Weaver
October 27, 2011
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (10.26.11) - Thursday, October 27,

Pittsburgh-area doctors are praising a CDC advisory panel's new recommendation that boys ages 11-12 routinely be vaccinated against human papillomavirus. Routine vaccination will help protect boys from HPV-related genital warts and some cancers, as well as reduce the spread of HPV to future sex partners.

CDC has for five years recommended that girls ages 11-12 routinely get the three-shot HPV series. The agency's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices this Tuesday upgraded its guidance for boys, saying they should receive the vaccine routinely as well. CDC usually approves recommendations made by ACIP.

"We knew eventually it would be recommended for both boys and girls," said Dr. Scott Tyson of Pediatrics South in Mt. Lebanon. "Where do you think girls were getting it from?" More boys had been getting HPV shots recently, said Guillermo Cole, a spokesperson for Allegheny County Health Department. "There does seem to be more males than before in recent months," he said. Cole has seen a similar increase in uptake among girls, which he attributed to greater awareness about the vaccine's benefits.

Dr. Jonathan Pletcher, clinical director of the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Children's Hospital in Lawrenceville, said most of his patients - males and females alike - already get the vaccine. "The immunization has nothing to do with sex," he said, addressing one controversy around the vaccination. "You get it way before you're thinking about having sex."