HPV Vaccines now Recommended for Boys

HPV vaccine for young males recommended by CDC committee

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Human papilloma virus (HPV) is no longer just a concern for girls and women. Boys and men are vulnerable to this virus that's known to cause a number of different cancers.

So the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have issued new recommendations.

A CDC committee has recommended that boys receive the HPV vaccine to protect against trading the virus back and forth between sexual partners and also to protect men from HPV-related cancers of the head and neck, penis and rectum.

"Discuss HPV vaccines with your pediatrician."

The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) says that boys as young as 9 years old can begin receiving the vaccine, which is given in a series of two or three shots.

Gardasil, the first vaccine approved, includes a series of three injections. Cervarix becomes effective against HPV after a round of two shots.

Here are some HPV and HPV vaccine facts:

  • The most prevalent sexually transmitted virus, it's estimated that 50 percent of sexually active people will have HPV at some point.
  • The HPV vaccine to protect against cervical cancer is currently recommended for females, aged 9-26. 
  • The CDC suggests girls between the ages of 11 and 12 receive the vaccine.
  • The Gardasil vaccine also protects against most types of genital warts.
  • According to the CDC, th vaccine also protects against anal, vaginal and vulvar cancers which are associated with the HPV virus.

According to Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of the Department of Preventative Medicine at Vanderbilt University, the vaccine for boys will help reduce the possibility of the virus being transmitted back and forth among sexual partners. Dr. Schaffner served as an advisor at the CDC meeting but did not vote on the recommendation.

The vaccine will also offer boys protection against head and neck cancer. A recent study finds that HPV causes some 70 percent of oral cancers in men. The virus is apparently transmitted through oral sex.

The HPV vaccine will protect boys and men from cancers of the penis and rectum, as well.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has endorsed the HPV vaccine for boys.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
October 25, 2011
Last Updated:
October 25, 2011