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Study Finds Similar HPV Rates in Men And Women

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Sunday, October 12, 2008 11:51 PM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: FDA & Prescription Drugs, Human Papillomavirus, HPV, Gardasil, Dangerous Drugs, CDC, Merck, Protecting Your Family


IMAGE SOURCE: © Wikimedia Commons/ low grade cervical changes with HPV effect/ author: Dr. Ed Uthman

A new report in the Journal of Infectious Diseases suggests that while men are at high risk of contracting human papillomavirus (HPV), most infections last a year or less, about the same amount of time the disease persists in women.

The human papilloma virus, a sexually transmitted disease, is often a precursor to cervical cancer.

More than 9,700 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year, about 3,700 result in death.

Gardasil made by Merck and approved in 2006, is a vaccine indicated for the prevention of the human papillomavirus (HPV), the cause of cervical cancer. The vaccine is approved to prevent genital warts and cervical cancers caused by HPV in girls and young women.

A separate study, released last week found about one in four teenage girl’s ages 13 to 17 have reportedly received the Gardasil vaccine.

The estimates come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which collected data on 3,000 girls nationwide. 25 percent of the young teens had received at least one of the three vaccines required in the three-shot series.

Dr. Anna R. Giuliano of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida and colleagues conducted a study of 300 men from Arizona between the ages of 18-44.

The men were examined at the beginning of the study and again every six months. On average, they were followed for a period of 15.5 months.

When the study first started, 30 percent of the male participants were infected with HPV disease. The yearly rate of new infection was about 29.2 percent.

Over the duration of the study, nearly half the men were infected with HPV. One third of the HPV types found are known to cause cancer. Approximately 75 percent of the infections cleared up within twelve months from detection.

Currently, the HPV vaccine is being tested in men. “Should it be found effective, we can potentially lower the amount of infections contracted by men,” in turn lowering the risk of cancer in their sexual partners, Giuliano concluded.

A new, inexpensive test for human papillomavirus may bring much needed health care for women who generally go undiagnosed in rural areas.

The test is called CareHPV and it was 90 percent accurate in detecting cervical cancers. #

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