New Study Shows HPV Vaccine Helps Lower Infection Rates

A new study looking at the  prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections in girls and women before  and after the introduction of the HPV vaccine shows a significant reduction in  vaccine-type HPV in U.S. teens. The study, published in [the June issue of] The Journal of Infectious Diseases  reveals that since the vaccine was introduced  in 2006, vaccine-type HPV prevalence decreased 56 percent among female  teenagers 14-19 years of age.

About 79  million Americans, most in their late teens and early 20s, are infected with  HPV. Each year, about 14 million people become newly infected.

“This report shows that HPV  vaccine works well, and the report should be a wake-up call to our nation to  protect the next generation by increasing HPV vaccination rates,” said CDC  Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.  “Unfortunately only one third of  girls aged 13-17 have been fully vaccinated with HPV vaccine.  Countries  such as Rwanda have vaccinated more than 80 percent of their teen girls. Our  low vaccination rates represent 50,000 preventable tragedies – 50,000 girls  alive today will develop cervical cancer over their lifetime that would have  been prevented if we reach 80 percent vaccination rates.  For every year  we delay in doing so, another 4,400 girls will develop cervical cancer in their  lifetimes.”

According to CDC, each year in  the United States, about 19,000 cancers caused by HPV occur in women, and  cervical cancer is the most common.  About 8,000 cancers caused by HPV occur  each year in men in the United States, and oropharyngeal (throat) cancers are  the most common.