In recent years we have heard a lot about the human papillomavirus (HPV) which started a debate about whether or not all teenage girls should get a vaccine to prevent the virus. On one side, some felt that pharmaceutical companies were exaggerating the threat of the virus in order to be able to sell more vaccines.
Others felt that because there was such a high incidence of the virus and it could be prevented with the vaccine, it would be wise to encourage young women to get it.
Another debate that was centered around HPV was oral s_x, when studies showed that engaging in oral s-x was linked to HPV and even throat cancer.
In the five years since launching a nationwide human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination program among girls between the ages of 12 and 26, Australia has seen a huge drop in the number of cases of genital warts, new research reveals.
Among Australian girls in the targeted age range for vaccination, the country saw genital wart cases plummet by 59 percent within just the first two years of the program’s launch in 2007.
By aggressively vaccinating girls against HPV (which is responsible for 90 percent of genital wart diagnoses), Australia appears to have offered considerable protection not just to its female population but also its men as well.
How? Researchers point to a phenomenon known as “herd immunity,” whereby the immunity acquired by a certain segment of the population — in this case, women — ends up protecting an unvaccinated segment of the population (men).
In the same timeframe Australia has seen a 39 percent drop in genital wart cases among heteros*xual men as well.
“All indications are that the program has been an overwhelming success,” noted study author Dr. Basil Donovan, who heads the s*xual health program at the Kirby Institute of the University of New South Wales, in Sydney.