Major Drop in HPV Infections Boosts Support for the Vaccine

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A new study, published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, shows the incidences of HPV (human papillomavirus) infections among teenage girls aged between 14 and 19 have decreased by 56 percent over the last 7 years.

The study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the drop in the number of teenage girls being infected started after the HPV vaccine started to be administered in 2006.

The most common s*xually transmitted disease in the U.S. is reported to be HPV, and it is claimed to be the source of about 27,000 cases of cervical cancer in Americans each year.

According to the CDC study, the drop in infection rates among teenage girls aged between 14 and 19 was 56 percent after the administration of the vaccine.  The study shows that 66 percent of girls in the U.S. aged between 13 and 17 have not been fully vaccinated against HPV and only about 50 percent of teen girls have been given one or more doses of the vaccine.

According to the CDC study, the drop in HPV infections among those girls who had been vaccinated was 88 percent.

Although this seems to be good news in the fight against HPV infections, only 33 percent of teenage girls have been given the full vaccination procedure, which seems to point out that the vaccine alone is not totally responsible for the drop in HPV infections.

The media, however, still continue to report that the vaccine is the sole contributor to the drop in HPV infections, which is what one article in the Washington Post seems to imply.  According to the Washington Post, a study done to show how effective a vaccination against cervical cancer has been, showed that infections among teenage girls was cut in half.

The Washington Post goes on to argue that, even though only 33 percent of the girls studied actually received the vaccine, the drop in HPV infections “could be due to ‘herd immunity’ — when a population is protected from an infection because a large or important smaller group is immune.”

The article states that, among those teenagers who admitted to having three or more s*xual partners, there were a higher percentage of them who had received the vaccination.  The article continues to state that if those teenagers were at the greatest risk of infection or of spreading the infection, then this could be the reason for the drop in infection rates.

Boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 12 are encouraged by the CDC to get routine HPV vaccinations as well as older teens and young adults up to the ages of 21 for males and 26 for females.

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