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J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2011 Mar;111(3 Suppl 2):S29-34.

Getting to know human papillomavirus (HPV) and the HPV vaccines.

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  • 1Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, Harrogate, Tennessee, USA.


More than 100 types of human papillomavirus (HPV), of which more than 40 are transmitted sexually, affect men and women. The worldwide prevalence of cervical HPV infection is approximately 10%. The most common HPV types worldwide are 16 and 18, which are the main causative viruses for cervical cancer and are both preventable by vaccination. Two HPV vaccines are currently approved in the United States: the quadrivalent HPV recombinant vaccine in males and females and the bivalent HPV recombinant vaccine in females. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices does not recommend routine use of the quadrivalent vaccine in males. The vaccines have been demonstrated to be highly effective in preventing cervical dysplasia, vulvar cancer, and genital warts related to HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18; they are most effective, however, in vaccinees who have never been infected with HPV. Based on a review of the literature, the authors argue that it may be appropriate to routinely vaccinate both males and females to prevent the spread of HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18.

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