Vaccinating boys plays key role in HPV prevention
Improving vaccination rates against the human papillomavirus (HPV) in boys aged 11 to 21 is key to protecting both men and women, says new research from University of Toronto Professor Peter A. Newman from the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work.
HPV has been linked to anal, penile and certain types of throat cancers in men. Since the virus is also responsible for various cancers in women, vaccinating boys will play a crucial role in reducing cancer rates across the sexes.
“HPV is the single most common sexually transmitted infection,” says Newman, Canada Research Chair in Health and Social Justice. “But now a vaccine is available that can change that and help to prevent the cancers that sometimes result.”
Newman’s research grouped data from 16 separate studies involving more than 5,000 people to analyze rates of HPV vaccine acceptability and examined what factors play a role when determining if young men receive the vaccine.
Vaccinations, particularly new ones, can have difficulty gaining traction among the citizens they were developed to help. This problem can be compounded by a lack of information, misinformation and even conspiracy theories about the efficacy and safety of vaccines. Unfortunately, says Newman, misinformation and unfounded vaccine fears can result in cancer deaths that could have been avoided with a simple vaccination.
Logistical barriers can also stifle the spread and acceptance of new vaccines. Basic impediments like out-of-pocket cost, transportation to a clinic and wait times for the vaccine can contribute to overall low vaccination rates.
The biggest factor affecting male HPV vaccination rates is the lack of a well-established connection linking HPV in men to a life-threatening illness. The correlation between HPV and cervical cancer in women is responsible for popularizing the vaccine among young women. Unfortunately, a similar connection that would motivate males to get the vaccine has not yet been established. That needs to change, says Newman.
“The idea of an HPV vaccine for boys is new in Canada and so far it has had a low adoption rate,” says Newman. “So we need physicians, social workers and public health care institutions to be more active conveying the benefits of the vaccine for boys and the positive role it can help play keeping Canadians safe and healthy.”
The study can be found online and is available without a subscription in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.
Link to study: http://sti.bmj.com/content/early/2013/07/03/sextrans-2012-050980.short?g=w_sti_ahead_tab
For more information, please contact:
Media Relations Officer
University of Toronto
All latest news from the category: Health and Medicine
This subject area encompasses research and studies in the field of human medicine.
Among the wide-ranging list of topics covered here are anesthesiology, anatomy, surgery, human genetics, hygiene and environmental medicine, internal medicine, neurology, pharmacology, physiology, urology and dental medicine.
Researchers shrink camera to the size of a salt grain
Micro-sized cameras have great potential to spot problems in the human body and enable sensing for super-small robots, but past approaches captured fuzzy, distorted images with limited fields of view….
World-first product will be a lifesaving traffic stopper
Game-changing technology to design traffic lights that absorb kinetic energy, stopping them from crumpling when hit by a vehicle, will prevent thousands of fatalities and injuries each year and make…
Scientists capture electron transfer image in electrocatalysis process
The involvement between electron transfer (ET) and catalytic reaction at electrocatalyst surface makes electrochemical process challenging to understand and control. How to experimentally determine ET process occurring at nanoscale is…